Americans will face the unseeded pair of Fernandez and Townsend
by Daniel Perisse
Miami Gardens, FL (April 1, 2023) – Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff might have faced frustration from being out of the women’s singles draw at the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itaú, but they sure have turned the page quickly. Seeded No. 2 in the draw, they will challenge the unseeded team of Canadian Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend, another American, for the doubles title on Sunday, April 2, at Hard Rock Stadium.
Pegula and Gauff had to go through a two-game marathon on Friday to reach the championship match. First, the No. 2 seeds needed 1 hour and 48 minutes to halt Australian Storm Hunter and Belgium’s Elise Mertens, 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-2.
A couple of hours later, the Buffalo, N.Y. native and the Delray Beach, Fla. resident needed two tie-breaks to defeat Nicole Melichar-Martinez, also from the United States, and another Australian, Ellen Perez, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), in 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Currently ranked at World No. 5 and No. 3 in doubles, respectively, Pegula and Gauff already won a title this year in Doha, Qatar. Overall, they have obtained other three trophies together in 2022 (Doha, Toronto and San Diego) and reached the Roland Garros final. This is their first WTA 1000 championship match.
Pegula and Coco Gauff will face Taylor Townsend, also from the US, and Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who defeated Magda Linette from Poland and Bernarda Pera, another American, 1-6, 6-2, 14-12.
Fernandez and Townsend are playing their second tournament together – in Indian Wells, they lost to eventual champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, from the Czech Republic. On their way to the Miami Open final, they defeated No.7 seeds Giuliana Olmos and Beatriz Haddad Maia, and No.3 seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko.
A Chicago native, 26-year-old Townsend already won the Adelaide 1 and 2 this season, partnering Asia Muhammad, also from the United States, and Brazilian Luisa Stefani.
On her turn, Fernandez will play a doubles final for the second time in her career: she played her first in January in Auckland, with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The women’s doubles final will take place not before 3:30 p.m. on Stadium court.