US Open Anna Danilina and Harri Heliovaara win mixed doubles title

New York, Sep 9 : Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan and Harri Heliovaara, her partner from Finland, finished a fairytale run to their first Grand Slam title by beating the No.1 seeds Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek to claim the mixed doubles title at the US Open here on Saturday. Anna Danilina and Harri Heliovaara won the final 6-3, 6-4 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium to claim the title in their maiden Grand Slam competition as a team. Heliovaara thus became the first Finnish man in the Open Era to win a mixed doubles title at the US Open, and Danilina, the first Kazakh. Heliovaara is the second Finn to win a mixed doubles title after Henri Kontinen won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 2016. Danilina is the first Kazakh to win any major in mixed doubles. The pair had teamed up at the sign-in deadline in the referee???s office before the mixed tournament began. However, their experience individually as doubles players -- both are ranked in the Top 30 on their respective tours -- certainly helped their partnership gel from the opening round. And continued to build on the partnership, eventually reaching the final. In the first set in the final, it was all the Kazakh/Finnish duo after they broke in Krajicek???s opening service game to go up 2-0 and for them. Although the all-American pair did earn three break points to get back on serve in the next game, they never managed to get even. In the second set, despite giving up a break early, Pegula and Krajicek raised their level in their attempts to come back into the match. The Americans broke back to level the set 2-2 and stayed ahead with incredible shots as the set neared a close. But Danilina and Heliovaara broke crucially in the eighth game to make it 4-4, affording them a chance to seal the match on serve. They rose to the occasion in style with a hold to 15 on Heliovaara's delivery, as Danilina smashed down a final forehand volley for the win. /IANS


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