The doubles team of Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang clinched the 2021 Western & Southern Open women’s doubles title Saturday with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 6 seed Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani.
Stosur, a three-time Major doubles champion, won her first doubles title of the season and the 27th of her career. The former US Open singles champion became the first Australian player to win a doubles title in Cincinnati since Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong in 1972.
In addition to winning her first doubles title of the season, the Western & Southern Open marked Zhang’s ninth career doubles championship. She is the first Chinese player to win the Western & Southern Open doubles title since Shuai Peng in 2013.
“We both like each other so much, we are both so positive,” Zhang said. “We never mind winning or losing or missing the ball. We just so enjoy playing together. We are so happy to play together. That's why when we are on the court, even yesterday, last night, we are so tired, but in match points, we are still laughing and smiling.”
Making their first doubles appearance as a team at the Western & Southern Open in 2014, Stosur competed in doubles in Cincinnati for the second time in her career while Zhang competed for the third straight year. Along with each woman collecting their first doubles victory in Cincinnati, Stosur and Zhang are the first unseeded duo to win the title since Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan in 2015.
Dabrowski and Stefani were playing in their second straight final after winning the title last week in Montreal. Here in Cincinnati, the duo knocked off two seeded teams, including Tokyo Olympic gold medal winners Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, to reach the finals. The consecutive finals come just after Stefani claimed a Tokyo Olympic bronze medal.
The men’s doubles final starts at 12 p.m. Sunday on Grandstand.
Recap presented by The Recovery Room