Update: West Australian Casey Dellacqua’s dreams of winning an Australian Open doubles final have ended after she lost in three sets today.
Playing with Hopman Cup representative Ashleigh Barty and facing reigning US and French Open champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the Australians lost 6-2 3-6 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes.
The pair started poorly after being broken in the opening game and then failing to convert four break point chances in the next game. That proved costly and they never recovered in the first set.
But having already won a French Open mixed doubles title, Dellacqua hit back.
The Aussies produced a barnstorming second set and Barty belied her age as the 16-year-old produced a series of outstanding shots.
With the match back on an even keel, they broke the Italians in the opening game of the deciding set to take a crucial advantage.
But Errani and Vinci’s experience was telling as they quickly broke back.
Dellacqua lost her first three service games but with her cousin Kaila providing inspiration from the grandstand, just five months after having a double lung transplant, she fought back in the middle of the match.
Dellacqua and Barty have enjoyed great success since forming a pairing last year but they couldn’t maintain their high standard for long enough. Errani and Vinci broke Barty’s serve to take a 4-2 advantage in the third set and then broke Dellacqua to win the title.