Perez and Melichar-Martinez finish runners-up at the 2023 WTA Finals
Australian Ellen Perez and American Nicole Melichar-Martinez have been edged out in a fiercely contested doubles final at the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun.
Ellen Perez and American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez have fallen just short in their quest to win the prestigious WTA Finals doubles title.
Their winning run in Cancun came to an end today, with Germany’s Laura Siegemund and Russian Vera Zvonareva recording a 6-4 6-4 victory in a high-quality doubles final.
Perez and Melichar-Martinez had their chances, but only managed to convert one of their eight break point opportunities throughout the one-hour and 38-minute championship match.
Yet the 28-year-old Perez, who was aiming to win the biggest title of her career and become the first Australian doubles champion at the WTA Finals in 17 years, vowed they could hold their heads high.
“I think a lot of people doubted us to be able to do what we’ve done this week, so we should be really proud,” Perez said.
“It’s been an incredible year and I’m happy we’re here and doing what we did.”
This is Perez and 30-year-old Melichar-Martinez’s fifth runner-up finish of the season.
Their finals record as a team, since forming their partnership in April 2022, now stands at one win from nine finals appearances.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get to win a tournament this year, but maybe next year we get one,” Melichar-Martinez said.
This result caps a brilliant end-of-season run for 35-year-old Siegemund and 39-year-old Zvonareva. The US Open 2023 finalists captured three titles from their final five tournaments and won 19 of their past 23 matches.
Siegemund is projected to rise to a new career-high ranking of world No.5, while Zvonareva is now set to climb to her highest ranking in more than 18 years at world No.9.
Perez’s efforts will be rewarded in the WTA Tour rankings too, set to record her highest year-end ranking at world No.17.
The left-handed Perez now heads immediately to Spain to represent Australia at the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals, where she’ll line-up alongside Kimberly Birrell, Daria Saville, Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Hunter.
The Australian team begins its campaign against Slovenia later today (from 8pm AEDT). The Billie Jean King Cup Finals are broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network.
Aussies in action – WTA Finals
Women’s doubles, final
 Laura Siegemund (GER)/Vera Zvonareva d  Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) 6-4 6-4
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