Cincinnati Masters: Chinese-Australian duo shines in doubles



Alexander Zverev of Germany poses with the trophy after winning the Cincinnati Masters men's singles title in Mason, U.S., August 22, 2021. /CFP

Alexander Zverev of Germany backed up his Olympic triumph with a fifth Men's Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Masters 1000 title as he crushed Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in Cincinnati on Sunday.

The German needed less than an hour against his longtime childhood friend and rival to lift the trophy and put himself into a solid position with the U.S. Open that will take place between August 30 and September 12.

"The U.S. Open starts in a week's time, so obviously I want to keep it up and I want to maybe play even better there," Zverev said.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia acknowledges fans after winning the Cincinnati Masters women's singles title in Mason, U.S., August 22, 2021. /CFP

Women's world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia was similarly impressive in winning her fifth title of the season at the combined ATP and Women's Tennis Association (WTA) event, cruising past Swiss wild-card holder Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-1.

The Australian, who will keep a firm grip on the No. 1 ranking as the final Grand Slam of the year approaches, took control mid-way through the opening set and was never truly threatened.

"It's been an awesome week. With each match, it was getting progressively better," Barty said.

"Today I was able to trust myself and play with confidence, which was important in a big final. I'm excited to get matches in tough conditions here in Cincy going into New York."

Zhang Shuai (R) of China and Samantha Stosur of Australia kiss their trophies after winning the Cincinnati Masters women's doubles title in Mason, U.S., August 21, 2021. /CFP

Chinese-Australian pair Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur defeated Montreal champions Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 7-5, 6-3 to win the Cincinnati women's doubles title on Sunday.

Cincinnati served as a reunion for Stosur and Zhang, who had not teamed up since they won the 2019 Australian Open women's doubles final.

"We just so enjoy playing together," Zhang said, as reported by the "We're so happy to play together. Even yesterday, last night, we were so tired, but [our] opponents [had] match points, and we're still laughing, we still smile. We always make some funny things when we're feeling really bad and we come back," she added.

"So, yeah, we missed each other so much, because last two years we couldn't play together. The first tournament we played together again, and we won the big trophy. That's so special. The first day, we meet each other and Sam told me, 'Yeah, we're back.' All positive."

Spanish-Argentine duo Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos clinched their first Cincinnati men's doubles title on Sunday after defeating American pair Steve Johnson and Austin Krajicek 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

"We are really happy," Granollers said in his on-court interview, as reported by "To win two Masters 1000 titles this year is amazing and shows we are playing really well. I lost one final here, so to win with Zeballos is really nice. I think we are improving as a team every day."

(With input from agencies)