6 Jan 2019

Paige Hourigan and partner beaten in ASB Classic doubles final

8:08 pm on 6 January 2019

New Zealand tennis player Paige Hourigan and American partner Taylor Townsend have been beaten in the doubles final at the ASB Classic.

Taylor Townsend (left) and Paige Hourigan (right) during a match against Eugenie Bouchard and Sofia Kenin.

Photo: Photosport

Hourigan and Townsend have lost the third set super tiebreak to go down 1-6, 6-1, 10-7 to Canadian Eugenie Bouchard and Sofia Kenin of the United States in Auckland on Sunday.

The result means Hourigan was unsuccessful in her bid to become the first New Zealand woman to win an ASB Classic title.

The Whanganui player was the fourth Kiwi woman to reach a final at the event and the first since the recently retired Marina Erakovic was also beaten in the doubles final in 2011.

After the first set, it appeared Hourigan was in fact set to make that history.

She and Townsend, who met during Hourigan's time at Georgia Tech University in the US, could barely put a foot wrong as they stormed through the first set.

But as if someone flicked a switch, the roles were immediately reversed for the two pairings in the second set.

While Bouchard and Kenin quickly found their range and confidence, the Kiwi-American duo started to struggle.

The "away" team matched their opponent's dominance from the first set to easily take the second, forcing the final into a super tiebreak.

The two pairs traded points to reach 7-7 in the race to 10, before Bouchard and Kenin made the decisive move, rattling off three straight points to seal the title.

Hourigan said she had mixed emotions after the loss.

"It's hard, but you've just got to try and look at the positives and we've had some great tennis this week, some great wins and we gelled really well on the courts, I mean we've just got to take that and keep moving forward."