Coco Gauff's Rome Open experiment with new doubles partner falls in final to home hopes Paolini and Errani

Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 16:16
Coco Gauff teamed with a new doubles partner for the first time in a long time as she reached the Rome Open women's doubles final. But she fell to the unstoppable pairing of Jasmine Paolini and Sara Errani.
The home hopes thrilled in a 6-3, 4-6(2) win over Gauff and her new partner at least for this tournament in Kiwi ace, Erin Routliffe. The final went down to the last possible moment with Errani and Paolini pulling off the upset win after 1 hour and 28 minutes of play. In a season in which Paolini become a singles WTA 1000 champion, she also achieved the same feat in doubles.
But it is a second title of the season and third overall in doubles with Errani so it isn't a new pairing. They won Linz in February and Monastir last season. Errani in particular has been a proficient doubles player in years gone by. The Italian veteran won a Career Doubles Grand Slam with another Italian in Roberto Vinci. She collected her 30th milestone doubles title in Rome on home soil.
Paolini has won four in her career with three coming alongside Errani. It has been the time of unseeded pairings with Cristina Bucsa and Sara Sorribes Tormo captured the Madrid Open title also in their own capital city. On Sunday, they powered to a double break lead at 5-2 and held on from there. Each time had nine winners in their opener, but Errani and Paolini smidged the unforced errors with only five. Gauff and Routliffe rebounded in the second set. They went 4-3 up and propelled it into a deciding tie-break. Gauff's double faults came back to haunt her in the tie-break. She hit the sixth on championship point and Errani and Paolini took the win.
It will be the last doubles action until at least Wimbledon likely for Gauff. She has decided not to enter Roland Garros. This is a sure fire sign that Jessica Pegula won't play the French Open with the World No.3 seemingly deciding it is either Pegula or no-one at the Grand Slam level. Albeit their partnership will end this year as previously reported ddue to their singles demands.

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