Routliffe through to another WTA doubles semi final

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

New Zealand tennis player Erin Routliffe and her Belgian partner Kimberley Zimmerman have staged a brilliant comeback to reach the semi-finals at the WTA tournament in Luxembourg.

Routliffe and Zimmerman have beaten Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri and Russian Varvara Gracheva 5-7, 6-2 10-8 in 1 hour 38.

As the score suggests it was tight, but Routliffe and Zimmerman appeared dead and buried in the match tie break when they trailed 8-3. Somehow, they won the next seven points to win the match.

They had clawed their way back into the opening set to level at 5-5 but the Kiwi was broken serving to take the set to a tie break. Routliffe and Zimmerman took control in the second set as they broke Eikeri twice to win the set and force a deciding match tie break. After rattling off five points in a row to level the scores at 8-8 before Routliffe nailed a forehand volley to get to match point. The Kiwi served and her partner finished the match with another forehand volley.

26-year-old Routliffe who made the third round of the doubles at the US Open in New York with singles runner up, Canadian Leylah Fernandez is guaranteed to have a new career high ranking next week.

The Kiwi improved 30 places to 78 after Flushing Meadows and is projected to climb to about 70 if she loses the semi final in a couple of days’ time and higher if she wins.

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