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US Open Wrap

Aussie’s Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty fell just short of winning their maiden grand slam together last weekend, going down in the final of the women’s doubles at the US Open. The pair lost to Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in three sets to claim their third runners up trophies at slams this year.

Dellacqua and Barty looked on track for a break-through title when they claimed a tight opening set in a tie-break. However their fifth seeded opponents, who had downed the Williams sisters in their semi-final, recovered to take the match 6-7(4-7) 6-1 6-4 in New York.

There remain positive signs for the future though as the Aussie pair were only playing in their eighth tournament together. Despite their relative inexperience as a doubles combination, the pair managed to also finish runners-up at this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Barty, who at the tender age of 17 no doubt had a promising career ahead of her was philosophical about the loss and looked forward to future success.

"It's just about coming out here and having some fun with a friend," she said.

"It's been amazing playing with Casey and I've been very lucky to have her on my team.

"Hopefully one day we'll have one of these trophies. We'll just knuckle down."

Meanwhile in the singles draws Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams both banked record pay cheques after claiming the men’s and women’s crowns at Flushing Meadows.

Second seed Nadal defeated world No.1 Novak Djokovic in four sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 after the two top seeds had made the final. It was the Spaniards second US Open title and 13th grand slam in total to continue his amazing return from chronic knee injuries.

Meanwhile the two top seeds in women’s draw also made the final but the fortunes were reversed. World No.1 Williams finishing the stronger to defeat second-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, making her the oldest women’s US Open champion.

In local tennis news promising youngster Nick Kyrgios has been picked in Australia’s Davis Cup team for our upcoming World Group play-off against Poland. It’s the first time the 18-year-old has been selected, after captain Pat Rafter chose to include the former junior world No.1 ahead of Marinko Matosevic.

Kyrgios becomes the 103rd Aussie chosen to play Davis Cup, a tournament Australia has won a total of 28 times but  struggled in, in recent times. It is unclear whether he will get the opportunity to actually play, as he joins teammates Bernard Tomic, Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione in the four-man squad.

It is assumed Tomic and Hewitt will play the opening singles ties, while Hewitt and Guccione will contest the doubles. Depending on how Australia goes, a dead rubber may present Kyrgios with the opportunity to debut. Captain Pat Rafter certainly won’t be taking any chances though as Australia bids to return to the competition's top tier for the first time since 2007.

Play gets under way in Warsaw, Poland next week and you can definitely catch all the action at Strathfield Sports Club live on our big screen.

Damien Bellemore

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