Australian Open: Mertens, Sabalenka combine to win women's doubles title

The 22-year-old Sabalenka was the dominant player on court as she and Mertens combined for a 6-2, 6-3 win over Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka celebrate after winning the women's doubles final on Friday- REUTERS

Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka won the Australian Open women's doubles final on Friday to collect their second Grand Slam trophy as a team.

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The 22-year-old Sabalenka was the dominant player on court as she and Mertens, the U.S. Open doubles champions in 2019, combined for a 6-2, 6-3 win over third-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.

Second-seeded Sabalenka and Mertens wasted three championship points in an eight-minute last game. Sabalenka earned a fourth championship point with an ace and clinched the title when Siniakova sent a backhand wide.

Krejcikova and Siniakova were the Wimbledon and French Open women's doubles champions in 2018, but struggled against two players who each reached the fourth round of the Australian Open singles draw before losing to eventual semifinalists.

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It is likely to be their last doubles title for a while as Sabalenka, a Top 10 player with nine WTA singles titles, wants to focus on the singles at the majors but plans to combine with Mertens for some Premier-level doubles events Mertens, though, plans to keep playing doubles at the majors.

“I feel like it’s a little bit more stress (playing singles and doubles) in the Grand Slams. I just want to focus on singles and manage my energy,” Sabalenka said.

"Still when you go out for doubles, you’re still there for competing, to put everything you have — sometimes it’s not really working well with me. I just want to save it for singles, try something different this year and see what happens on the Grand Slams," she added.

Krejcikova has another chance at a title in Australia after combining with American Rajeev Ram to secure a spot in the mixed doubles final on Saturday.