Posted by Lana On 1/30/2011 09:42:00 AM
Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta beat Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko 2-6 7-5 6-1 to win the Australian Open women's doubles titles on Friday, their first Grand Slam title.
The top ranked pair, Dulko and Pennetta who won seven titles in 2010, finished runners-up twice and had a 17-match winning streak, struggled in the first set and trailed 5-4 in the second.
"We were in shock," Dulko said. "At a set and 4-1 down, at the changeover, we were looking at each other saying, 'Come on, we have played less than an hour.' We went for it. We tried to play more aggressively and didn't wait for them to."
"Gisela played an unbelievable three games from 4-1 down," Pennetta added. "Everything started to change. When you're down, you don't have anything to lose, so you just keep going. For the other team it was tough - when you have a ball for 62 51 then you go to a third set, it's tough to come back in the game."
"In the third set we played really well, really aggressively," Pennetta said. "We were doing our job and playing our game. So that's why we're here now."
"I think Victoria started to get a little bit more nervous than in the beginning and missed more balls," Dulko said afterwards. "I think her level started to go down a bit, then Maria maybe as well. But most importantly we just kept fighting. In the end we believed we could turn the match around. It was a good ending."
Dulko is the first Argentine woman to win a Grand Slam since Paola Suárez, who won the 2005 French Open with Virginia Ruano Pascual while Pennetta was the first Italian ever to even reach a final in any of the five main events at the Australian Open - men's and women's singles and doubles, or mixed.
"It's a Grand Slam. It's something really amazing for me," Pennetta said. "Last year we played so well. We won the WTA Championships and so many good tournaments, but we didn't make any finals at the Grand Slams or win one of them. We started this year really well and hope to do the same in the next one."
(photos/AP Photo, Reuters Pictures)