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Spears wins AO mixed doubles for first Grand Slam title

January 29, 2017 09:25 AM

By Jackie Finn, USTA.com

A day after 35-year-old Serena Williams defeated older sister Venus in the Women’s final, 35-year-old American Abigail Spears continued to prove that age is just another number on the tennis court. 

Partnering with Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal, Spears claimed the 2017 Australian Open mixed doubles title by taking out the second-seeded team of Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, 6-2, 6-4, in Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. 

The unseeded duo was playing as a team in only its second Grand Slam event, after losing in the first round of the French Open last year, but this year each finally saw the dream of Grand Slam success become a reality. 

Spears, who announced plans to retire at the end of this season, was twice a runner-up in mixed doubles finals, at the US Open in 2013 and 2014, while Cabal had never before advanced past the quarterfinals in mixed doubles at Melbourne Park. 

The match, which lasted 64 minutes, saw the American and her partner jump out to a commanding 4-0 lead to take the opening set. They continued to apply the pressure in the second with consistent shot-making. The crucial moment in the match came at 4-4, with Dodig serving. The Croatian double-faulted to lose the game, allowing Cabal to serve out the victory. 

“I think all the variables just went our way,” Spears said about the victory. 

She added about her new partner: “It feels amazing playing with Juan. I wish I could have fun like that every day.”