Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula win Miami doubles title
Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula claimed the Miami Open women's doubles title in their tournament debut, becoming the first all-American team to win the Miami trophy since 1991.
The second seeds defeated American Taylor Townsend and Canadian Leylah Fernandez 7-6(6), 6-2 in Sunday's final to win their third WTA 1000 crown and fifth trophy as a team. The pair's two previous 1000-level titles came last year in Doha and Toronto.
"We're super excited," said Gauff, who calls nearby Delray Beach home. "This tournament is one of those tournaments that you grow up watching, and I think it feels even more special than some of the other 1000s we won. Doing it in front of our family, it means a lot."
"Excited that we were able to win kind of like our home tournament," added Pegula. "It's a fun 1000 definitely to win. I think it's a little extra special for us."
Road to the Championship - Coco Gauff & Jessica Pegula
R1: def. Fruhvirtova (CZE) / Fruhvirtova (CZE), 6-3, 4-6, 10-4
R2: def. Muhammad (USA) / Danilina (KAZ), 6-4, 7-6(4)
QF: def. No. 6 Mertens (BEL) / Hunter (AUS), 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-2
SF: def. No. 8 Melichar-Martinez (USA) / Perez (AUS), 7-6(5), 7-6(4)
F: def. Townsend (USA) / Fernandez (CAN), 7-6(6), 6-2
In Miami, their toughest test came in a rain-delayed quarter-final in which they battled back from a set down to defeat sixth seeds Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter.
The pair had to win both their quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Friday due to previous rain delays, and they had to dig deep in both contests, saving set points in the opening set of their semifinal victory.
In Sunday's final, they again erased a set point as they broke at 6-5 in the opener to force a tiebreak against the lefty team of Townsend and Fernandez. Set two was more straightforward, with a brilliant Pegula lob helping the second seeds earn an early break as they began to pull away.
"I think we were all serving very well and serving and hitting our spots," Pegula said. "We knew that was going to be tricky going in, and I think we were able to adjust a little bit just in time to kind of turn that match around, but I think once we started putting more returns in the court, we started pressuring them a lot more."
The last all-American team to win Miami was Mary Joe Fernandez and Zina Garrison in 1991.
Townsend, behind her final run, moved up five spots in the WTA Rankings to a new career high of world No. 14. The American also reached the 2022 US Open women's doubles final alongside compatriot Caty McNally.