Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos hit the homeowners Olivia Gadecki and Marc Polmans turnaround, this Wednesday (25) and guaranteed a place in the mixed doubles decision of the Australian Open. The Brazilians managed to save a match point and closed the match with partials of 4-6, 6-4 and 11-9, in 1h37, at Rod Laver Arena.
In the first set, the Brazilians managed to break early, right in the third game and opened 3-1 in the sequence. Gadecki and Polmans, however, raised the bar, especially at net and won five of the six games finals, scoring 6-4, in 39 minutes. The Australians had seven more unforced errors in the first half, but they also added a lot more winners (15 to 9).
The Australians started the second set as they ended the first, but Luisa and Rafael managed to keep their services and, when the chance arose in the seventh game, broke the serve and made it 4-3. The Brazilians only committed two unforced errors in the entire partial, confirmed their next two serves and returned the 6-4 in 40 minutes.
The tie-break match was tense, with both pairs making some unusual mistakes. Serving at 6-7, Luisa double-faulted, but Polmans returned the favor at 8-7. In the sequence, Gadecki managed a smash to create the first match point. The Brazilian, however, with a beautiful point in the net, saved.
With Rafael confirming his next serve, the Brazilians opened 10-9 and didn’t waste the chance. Luisa got one winner of devolution in the service of Gadecki and secured the vacancy to the decision.
Luisa and Rafael are the first totally Brazilian duo in a mixed final of slam since Claudia Monteiro and Cássio Motta, at Roland Garros 1982. Never has a totally Brazilian duo raised a mug in a Major. Bruno Soares has three mixed titles, Thomaz Koch and Maria Esther Bueno also won, but always with foreign partners.
In the mixed doubles decision, Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos face the Indians Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza, who defeated Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk in the semifinals. Mirza plays the last slam of your career.