New York, USA, 10 September 2022 | Matt Trollope

Storm Sanders and Caroline Dolehide fought hard but lost in three sets in the US Open women’s doubles semifinals today.

The Australian-American combination led 6-1 2-0 but were unable to hold off the momentous comeback of their opponents, all-American pairing Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend.

It was an emotional victory for the Americans, with McNally returning to the doubles final in New York – a year earlier she was playing with Coco Gauff – and Townsend advancing to her first major final as a mother.

For Sanders and Dolehide, it was a second tense defeat in a major doubles semifinal, after holding three match points at Wimbledon in 2021 against Russians Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina.

It has nonetheless been a magnificent US Open campaign for Sanders, who tomorrow will team with fellow Aussie John Peers in the mixed doubles final – her first ever Grand Slam decider.

> READ: Sanders and Peers reach US Open 2022 mixed doubles final

“Credit to them; they were playing really high-level tennis and just really making us uncomfortable out there. I don’t think we could find our game in the beginning,” McNally said.

“At that changeover at 2-1 (in the second set), we really just told ourselves that: if we’re gonna go down, we’re gonna go down going after our shots.

“I’m just really proud of ourselves for doing that and turning it around.”

After the pairs split sets, Sanders and Dolehide were not discouraged in the third, holding their first two service games to lead 2-1.

But the Americans rebounded to win the next three straight games at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Watched on by defending champion Sam Stosur – who teamed with Zhang Shuai to beat McNally and Gauff in last year’s final – as they trailed by a break, Sanders and Dolehide had chances to level the third set.

They held for 3-4 and took advantage of some McNally service wobbles in the next game to earn a break point.

But they could not convert, and now trailed 3-5.

Serving to stay in the match, Dolehide was broken to love, with Townsend completing the comeback with an overhead winner.

Sanders is projected to return to the world’s top 20, at No.17, at the same time becoming Australia’s top-ranked female doubles player.

She narrowly leads Ellen Perez in the rankings, who is expected to rise to a career-high mark of No.19.

Perez, partnering American Nicole Melichar-Martinez, fell in the first women’s doubles semifinal yesterday to Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

Aussies in action – US Open

Women’s doubles, semifinals
Caty McNally (USA)/Taylor Townsend (USA) d [12] Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) 1-6 6-3 6-3

Girls’ doubles, quarterfinals
[3] Taylah Preston (AUS)/Liv Horde (USA) d [WC] Natalie Block (USA)/Piper Charney (USA) 7-5 6-4

Girls’ doubles, semifinals
[1] Lucie Havlickova (CZE)/Diana Schnaider d [3] Taylah Preston (AUS)/Liv Horde (USA) 6-1 7-6(1)

Boys’ wheelchair singles, semifinals
[1] Ben Bartram (GBR) d Saalim Naser (AUS) 6-4 6-3

Boys’ wheelchair doubles, semifinals
Saalim Naser (AUS)/Ivar van Rijt (NED) d [2] Andrew Penney (GBR)/Maximilian Taucher (AUT) 1-6 7-6(5) [10-8]

Mixed doubles, final
[4] Storm Sanders (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) v Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)/Eduoard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

Boys’ wheelchair doubles, final
Saalim Naser (AUS)/Ivar van Rijt (NED) v [1] Ben Bartram (GBR)/Dahnon Ward (GBR)

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