After a Doubles Win, an Awkward Trophy Ceremony

In a United States Open women’s doubles final between four top singles players on Sunday afternoon, Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens defeated Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka, 7-5, 7-5.

The hard-fought win ended on a wild sequence, with Azarenka badly missing an overhead smash on the 13th shot of a rally.

That set the stage for an unusual denouement because of the U.S. Open tradition of presenting trophies to winning players’ coaches during the post-title news conference.

After Sabalenka lost in the second round of singles, her coach, Dimitrov Tursunov, announced on Instagram that their partnership was ending.

“I know some times were tough, but it is still heartbreaking to walk away,” Tursunov wrote. “I’m happy to look back and say I put everything on the line and sad that I couldn’t do more. All the best on your journey forward, Tiger.”

But the break was far from clean. Tursunov lingered at the tournament as Sabalenka continued her run through the doubles draw. The “it’s complicated” status of their relationship was confirmed in a rambling Instagram post by Sabalenka, in which she wrote, “I don’t wanna see somebody else by my side” and “I REALLY NEED YOU!”

After the last question of the news conference, Mertens first gave her coach, Robbe Ceyssens, his trophy. Eric Butorac, the United States Tennis Association representative who officiated the ceremony, offered Sabalenka the chance to decline to present her coach his prize, but Sabalenka was eager.

“Thank you very much, Coach, for all the emotions going through these two weeks,” Sabalenka told Tursunov, laughing. “Thank you for one year of working with me; it was tough for you, I know.”

On Saturday, Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the mixed doubles title for the second year in a row. And on Friday, top-seeded Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia followed up their Wimbledon men’s doubles title with the U.S. Open championship.

Fourth-seeded María Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia won the girls’ final on Sunday, 6-1, 6-0, over Alexandra Yepifanova, and American qualifier.

Osorio, 17, has played professional tournaments as well, earning a WTA ranking of 271st. Her most notable match may be the final of a small tournament in Norman, Okla., last November, when she lost to Bianca Andreescu, who has since surged on the WTA tour, including winning the U.S. Open women’s title on Saturday.

“You know, I’m the one that gave her luck for this,” Osorio said, smiling. “After that match, she start playing good.”

The boys’ final was won by Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic, 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-2, over Emilio Nava, a 17-year-old Californian. Nava was also the runner-up at the Australian Open boys’ tournament in January.

Two men who sought history-making Grand Slams in wheelchair tennis were thwarted at the U.S. Open this weekend. Gustavo Fernández, who won the first three Grand Slam events this year in wheelchair men’s singles, lost in the semifinals on Saturday to Stéphane Houdet, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Houdet lost the final on Sunday to Alfie Hewett, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5). Hewett’s win added to a dominant weekend for British men in the wheelchair competitions. He partnered with Gordon Reid of Scotland to win the wheelchair men’s doubles final over Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda, 1-6, 6-4, 11-9.

In the quad division final on Sunday, Andy Lapthorne of Britain ended Dylan Alcott’s bid for a Grand Slam with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing.

“Today was a big day to manage to beat Dylan,” Lapthorne said. “He’s a great player. He’s been unbeaten for a long time. It was a massive achievement.”

Alcott, who has dominated the division in recent years, attributed the lopsided loss to being “flat” and rushing toward the relief of the feat being over.

Hours later, Lapthorne and Alcott teamed up to win the quad doubles final, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 10-6, over David Wagner and Bryan Barten, giving Alcott a Grand Slam in doubles with two different partners.

In the doubles trophy ceremony, Alcott said there was only one way to commemorate his mixed day: “Let’s go drink a million beers.”

The women’s wheelchair singles was won by Diede de Groot, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, over Yui Kamiji. The top-ranked De Groot also won the doubles with her fellow Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot, 6-2, 6-0, over Sabine Ellerbrock and Kgothatso Montjane.

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