Erin Routliffe sets out goals to achieve with Gabby Dabrowski

Monday, 18 March 2024

Erin Routliffe has laid out her lofty goals for what she hopes to achieve with Gabby Dabrowski ahead of the Miami Open.

Routliffe will be teaming up with her Canadian partner for the WTA 1000 tournament starting in Florida this week and they will be among the favourites to take out the title.

But Routliffe says her and Dabrowski’s ambitions go beyond that, as they hope to become the highest ranked doubles team in the world.

“We want to be multiple time grand slam winners and we want to be the No 1 team in the world,” Routliffe said.

“I think we try to focus on how we get there, rather than the actual wins to get there. It’s more like a process of figuring out how we can achieve those things, but those are two things we both talk about and goals we have.

“We’re both at career high rankings, so that’s a good step in the right direction. But I’m definitely looking forward to some success and switching from hard court to clay, that will be another adaptation.

“We’ve never played on clay or grass together, so that will be a lot of figuring out with our games, and figuring that out together.”

Routliffe is ranked at No 6 in the world and Dabrowski is one place higher. Together, they won the US Open last year and a couple of months ago reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, so it’s certainly not out of the question for them to achieve their ambitions and Routliffe says they’re continuing to grow as a partnership.

“We’re still learning,” she said. 

“You never stop learning and if you did stop learning with your partner, you should probably end it.

“We’re more comfortable with each other for sure, playing more matches. But there are still things we’re figuring out about each other.

“It’s still kind of new, we haven’t even been playing together for a year.”

At Indian Wells, Routliffe and Dabrowski were the seconds seeds. They comfortably won their first round match 6-0 6-3 against Christina Bucsa from Spain and Russia’s Alexandra Panova.

But in the next round they lost an epic match 12-10 in the third set super tiebreaker, against Asia Muhammad from the States and Japan’s Ena Shibahara.

“Last week was obviously a tough one, but in this life with no advantage and 10-point breakers you’re going to lose some heartbreakers like that,” Routliffe said.

“We’ll watch to see what we can do better and keep moving forward.

“Our season has gone pretty well so far, we’ve had some good results and not so good results, but I can’t really complain. I think we’re progressing well and I’m excited to go to Miami, I love playing there.”

Professional tennis in March is all about the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments. They’re the last two big hardcourt events before the clay court season begins and are intrinsically linked.

Most players would say they prefer Indian Wells out of the two, but Routliffe leans the other way.

"I actually prefer Miami,” she said. 

“I like the heat and the courts there are a bit faster. I like that it’s played in the Dolphins stadium, that’s quite cool and there’s a lot of chilling areas.

“So I prefer it to Indian Wells, but Indian Wells is an amazing tournament as well. Most players would probably answer that question by saying Indian Wells though.”

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