By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, September 4, 2023
NEW YORK—Wimbledon champions’ chase of a US Open doubles title is over.
Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova, who was partnering friend and Wimbledon doubles champion Barbora Strycova, withdrew from the doubles event today in an effort to save her sore shoulder for singles.
The ninth-seeded Vondrousova teared up in pain in the second set as she rallied past former all American Peyton Stearns 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2 into her first US Open quarterfinal in her fifth Flushing Meadows appearance. Vondrousova will face American Madison Keys for a semifinal spot.
Vondrousova extended her Grand Slam singles winning streak to 11 matches and it came at the cost of her doubles hopes.
Given her stiff shoulder, Vondrousova made the painful decision to pull out of doubles in what is Strycova’s final Grand Slam tournament.
“I mean, I just feel my arm, you know. So we decided, you know, not to play today,” Vondrousova said afterward. “It’s a bit sad, because it’s Barbora’s last tournament, so it was a tough decision. You have to put your health first.
“Yeah, we decided together.”
The Czech pair’s withdrawal sends the 16th-seeded team of Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe into the US Open quarterfinals against sixth seeds Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend.
The veteran Strycova, who partnered Hsieh Su-wei to their second Wimbledon doubles crown her her final SW19 appearance last month, was sympathetic to her situation, Vondrousova said.
“My coach told me just don’t play, and he actually told Barbora first and then she came to me,” Vondrousova said. “I mean, she’s very experienced player, you know, and I’m just very grateful to have her by my side and it’s so good that she understands.”
The Olympic silver medalist attributes her sore shoulder to two factors: The denser Wilson US Open extra duty felt balls and the fact her extensive singles and doubles schedule has left her a bit sleep-deprived this week.
“It’s just from the balls,” Vondrousova said. “They are very heavy and the season is long, so I feel like, you know, you just, you know, you just have to fight through it…
“I feel like it’s also the reason, you know, that why this is happening, because I played, you know, at midnight. Like, I slept just few hours and I didn’t practice yesterday because I was, you know, very tired. Then we woke up today at 6:40.
“So it’s, I don’t…