Though the publishers of the Australian Open's official website didn't think it was big enough news to put it on their front page, I do: Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won the women's doubles title yesterday, which means that they have now won the Australian Open two years in a row. The defending champions beat 3rd seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, and they did it in classic Fighting Italian mode--overcoming two match points for the Russians in the third set. Leading 5-2, Makarova and Vesnina suddenly found themselves at 5-all, and then they were overcome by the top seeds.
Errani and Vinci won the championship match 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. The Italians held the number 1 spot last year, but their stronghold on the tour weakened, with the emergence of such teams as Makarova-Vesnina, and--most notably--Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai. With the 2014 Australian Open trophy in their hands, that could change. This has to be a real confidence-booster.
Both Errani and Vinci--top singles players--went out in the first round of singles, so all of their energy was focused on winning the doubles title. That may have helped, too.
In mixed doubles, we now have finalists. Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau defeated defending champions Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden 2-6, 6-3, 10-2 in the semifinals. Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor defeated Zheng Jie and Scott Lipsky 6-3, 6-1. Gajdosova and Ebden held wild cards in both 2013 and 2014.
Jana Fett and 4th seed Elizaveta Kulichkova will vie for the junior girls title. Fett and Kulichkova are from Croatia and Russia, respectively. Kulichkova enters the final already a champion. She and partner Anhelina Kalinina (oh, what a great name), the top seeds, won the junior girls doubles title yesterday. They defeated 2nd seeds Katie Boulter and Ivana Jorovic 6-4, 6-2.
In wheelchair singles, top seed Sabine Ellerbrock will contest 2nd seed Yui Kamiji for the championship. Kamiji, with partner Jordanne Whiley, won the doubles title by defeating 2nd seeds Marjolein Buis and Jiske Griffioen 6-2, 6-7, 6-2. Kamiji and Whiley were the top seeds.