NEW YORK - Anna Danilina and Harri Heliovaara, who met by chance just over a week ago, became first-time Grand Slam champions with a 6-3 6-4 win over top-seeded Americans Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek in the U.S. Open mixed doubles final on Saturday.
Kazakhstan's Danilina and Heliovaara of Finland randomly teamed up ahead when they happened to be at the sign-in table at the same time.
"I want to thank my partner, I have no words. It was an amazing run," Danilina said during her on-court interview. "I don't know what to say, It's been a pleasure. To many more."
The unseeded duo enjoyed a solid start to the final as they consolidated an early break for a 3-0 lead and never looked back as they saved all four break points they faced before Danilina wrapped up the 31-minute first set with a forehand smash.
Heliovaara and Danilina remained in control as they opened the second set with another break before the Americans got the set back on serve in the fourth game.
But Heliovaara and Danilina refused to let the Americans back into the match and went on to break at love for a 5-4 lead before closing out victory.
Heliovaara initially forgot to mention Danilina when he addressed the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd during the trophy presentation but quickly requested the microphone back.
"I also have to thank my partner," said Heliovaara. "She is the reason we are standing here. I didn't know you two weeks ago, now I know you very well. Thank you very much, Anna." REUTERS