Routliffe wins maiden WTA Doubles title
New Zealand’s Erin Routliffe is a WTA Doubles champion for the first time. The 26-year-old Kiwi has partnered with Belgian Kimberley Zimmermann to win the title in Palermo in what was Routliffe’s second appearance in a Tour level final and the first for Zimmermann.
Routliffe and Zimmermann have beaten the Russian pair of Natela Dzalamidze and Kamilla Rakhimova 7-6 (5) 4-6,10-4 in 1 hour and 55 minutes.
In what was a scrappy match punctuated by a high number of errors, Routliffe and Zimmermann saved their best tennis for the match tie break. They had led 4-1 in the second set and looked headed for a straight sets win before the Russians won five straight games.
In the match tie break Routliffe and Zimmermann won the first four points and led 8-2 and then had six match points at 9-3. They were able to convert on their second match point to secure a memorable win.
Routliffe is ranked 132 in doubles but by winning the title she is projected to climb 23 places to 109 when the new rankings come out tonight.
The Kiwi will head to Charleston on Tuesday for a WTA tournament where she will partner with Indonesian Aldila Sutjiadi.