Defending champions Vania King and Yarslava Shvedova were so close, on two occasions today, to winning their second consecutive U.S. Open doubles title, but nerves got the best of Shvedova and her serve, and Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond were only too glad to take advantage of their opponents' vulnerability.
King and Shvedova won the first set 6-4, and after breaking Huber and Raymond, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Shvedova, who can go from brilliant to horrible within two points, obviously couldn't handle the occasion, and her serve was broken. King and Shvedova broke back, and had break points to go up 6-5, but failed to convert them, and the second set went to a tiebreak, which Huber and Raymond won 7-5.
Huber and Raymond played even more aggressively in the final set, but again, King and Shvedova fought back and were a couple of points away from a win yet again, and again--Shvedova could not control her nerves. That set also went to a tiebreak.
At 6-2 in that tiebreak, Huber got confused and thought the match was over. She jumped in the air and ran over to embrace Raymond, who had to inform her that there was still another point to play. She and Huber won the tiebreak 7-3.
The match was very entertaining and featured some thrilling rallies; Raymond was the stand-out player. King was steady most of the time, and did everything she could to steady her partner, but it just wasn't Shvedova's day. When she can control her anxiety, Shvedova has a big serve, but today, her serve was problematic more often than not.