Storm Sanders and John Peers have become the first Australian duo in 21 years to claim the US Open mixed doubles title, winning a 10-point tiebreak to clinch victory in New York.
The fourth-seeded Aussies bettered Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6 6-4 10-7 on Arthur Ashe Stadium to secure the trophy at Flushing Meadows, becoming the first Australian team to win a grand slam mixed doubles title since Jarmila Wolfe and Matt Ebden at the 2013 Australian Open.
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It was their first major appearance together, with neither player progressing past the semi-final stage at Flushing Meadows before.
The last Aussie pair to achieve the feat in New York was Rennae Stubbs and Todd Woodbridge, who captured the mixed doubles title in 2001.
Former US Open champion Sam Stosur cheered on the Aussie duo, who pocketed a cool AU$238,000 payday, from the stands.
“I can’t believe we are grand slam champions, that’s crazy,” Sanders told Peers at the trophy presentation.
“So, thank you so much for playing with me. We’ve been trying to set it up for the past year and I really enjoyed every moment on court with you.”
Peers, who secured the victory with an ace, continued: “Stormy, we got one! Well done!
“It’s been a pleasure this week and a lot of fun, so hopefully we’ve got a few more coming up at some point.”
Last year, Peers won an Olympic bronze medal in the mixed doubles in Tokyo playing alongside Aussie hero Ash Barty.
“To be honest, I still don’t think it’s really sunk in,” Sanders told reporters at the post-match press conference.
“Even before the match, I was just thinking it’s another match, doesn’t matter. Amazing opportunity and a great challenge to be playing on the biggest court in the world in a grand slam final.
“Obviously I lost my doubles semi-final yesterday in a close one. I had to kind of let that go and just really focus on today.
“Having Sam there as well watching on, it was just super amazing. Kind of gave me a little bit of calmness knowing that she was there. I think she yelled out, ‘Believe in yourself,’ to me once, and that definitely helped.
“It still doesn’t really feel real to be honest. This is the first time Johnny and I have played together. We played really well all week. We had some really tough opponents. Our game styles match up really well. We also have a lot of fun out there, too.”
Later on Sunday morning AEST, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek won her third grand slam singles title, defeating Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in straight sets on Arthur Ashe Stadium.