MELBOURNE, Australia — Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski is an Australian Open champion.
Dabrowski and Mate Pavic saved a championship point before combining to beat Rohan Bopanna of India and Timea Babos of Hungary 2-6, 6-4, 11-9 under a closed roof Sunday at Rod Laver Arena.
It’s the second career major for Dabrowski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam title last year when she won the French Open mixed championship with Bopanna.
She and Pavic were combining for the first time in Australia, and they hadn’t dropped a set on the way to the final.
“A couple of weeks ago in Brisbane, I read an article where it said that Bopanna was playing with Babos and I hadn’t spoken to him yet about playing,” Dabrowski said. “I had a lot of other things going on, so I was kind of just procrastinating (about) the decision, I suppose, to find a partner for the mixed doubles.
“Then after I read that article, straightaway I messaged some people and Mate was one of those people and he responded almost immediately.”
Asked if she was surprised that her French Open-winning partner was playing with someone else at the Australian Open, Dabrowski replied: “Yeah, I mean, only because we hadn’t spoken about it. I wasn’t about to go find another partner without talking to him first. But this is the business and this is the industry that we are in, and you kind of just have to have a tough skin.”
The season-opening Australia swing has been a good one for the Canadian.
The 25-year-old teamed with China’s Xu Yifan to win the Sydney International women’s doubles title earlier this month.
Pavic has collected two Grand Slam titles within 24 hours. He teamed with Austrian Oliver Marach to win the men’s doubles title Saturday night, in the match that followed Caroline Wozniacki’s win over Simona Halep in the women’s singles final.
Babos, who won the women’s doubles title on Friday, and Bopanna were seemingly in control of the final, which was played indoors after organizers enforced the tournament’s extreme heat policy as the temperature neared 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
But Pavic and Dabrowski recovered to level the match in the second set and then raced to a 6-3 lead in the deciding extended tiebreaker.
Later Sunday, defending champion Roger Federer will attempt to win his 20th Grand Slam singles title when he plays Marin Cilic in the men’s final.
Federer has an 8-1 head-to-head record against Cilic, including a straight sets win in last year’s Wimbledon final.
The Associated Press
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