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Montreal: August 3, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Toronto: August 4, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024

Erin Routliffe Rising to the Top

What a year it’s been for Erin Routliffe. The 29-year-old has skyrocketed up the WTA doubles rankings and currently sits at a career-high No. 5, just one spot behind her doubles partner and friend Gabriela Dabrowski.

It's been a long grind to the top for Routliffe and her story is an inspiring one for others who might be taking a bit longer to reach their goals. Prior to winning the US Open last September, Routliffe was ranked outside the Top 70 in women’s doubles but was a very respected and capable player who had previously captured three WTA titles.

Things really clicked for Routliffe when she and Dabrowski joined forces last summer. Both dismayed at their lack of success in the early parts of 2023, they paired up for the summer hard-court swing.

It didn’t take long for the move to pay dividends. Their first event together was the National Bank Open in Montreal where they won their opening match as partners before falling in the round of sixteen. They made the same stage at the following tournament in Cincinnati and then went to the semifinals in Cleveland.

Read also: Danielle Collins Catches Fire

What followed was a magical run in New York where Routliffe and Dabrowski stormed to the title as the 16th seeds, capturing a first women’s doubles major for each of them. Their first three matches went a full three sets and then they really hit their stride taking both the semifinal and the final in straight sets against strong tandems of Xinyu Wang and Su-Wei Hsieh in the final four and Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva in the title match respectively.

Despite only playing together for less than half the season, the duo remarkably qualified for the WTA Finals as one of the top eight teams in the world. There they made the semifinals which truly was an amazing achievement considering how short a time they had been together.

Speaking to Routliffe on a recent episode of Match Point Canada, she revealed that she and Dabrowski are still learning a lot about one another both on and off the court and that while she’s certainly proud of what they’ve accomplished together, there’s still much more that they aim to achieve as doubles partners.

“Obviously I’m super grateful and super proud of myself. I think playing with Gaby has been an unbelievable experience and I’m really excited just to keep going. I think obviously tennis is so niche in the sense that you put in all these years of hard work and grinding to get to this place and I’m obviously really happy to be here. My life has changed a lot in the last six or eight months which is pretty surreal. I’m still taking it all in and just trying to enjoy everything because I think I’m pretty lucky. But still working hard because we have a lot more goals we want to achieve. It’s an exciting time for sure.”

Read also: Dual challenge for the 2024 NBO

In terms of whether or not the sudden success has changed Routliffe, it’s pretty evident when pressed that she remains as humble and grounded as ever. When asked about any flashy new spending habits, the biggest change she revealed is one that only serves to further her on-court success.

“Honestly I probably have flown business a few times which I look at it as an investment into myself, just because I can’t believe the difference it makes on my body and playing if I’m going to a tournament and only having a couple of days to prepare.”

One of the scary things for opponents of the Dabrowski /Routliffe tandem is the fact that they are only getting better as they continue to get to know each other both on and off court. At the present time, they have remarkably yet to even play a clay or grass court match together as partners, so just wait until they begin to develop their chemistry on those surfaces as well.

Routliffe definitely sees a rising trajectory for the two which bodes well for that the future holds for the pair.

“I feel like we’re still getting even better. I watch Gaby on the court doing volleys in practice or something and that makes me a better volleyer and I hope vice versa she can also learn from me. So that’s another way that I don’t think we’ve really reached our peak to be honest and I think that Gaby would say the same thing.”

The WTA's best return to Toronto this summer for the National Bank Open August 4 to 12, 2024 at Sobeys Stadium. 2024 Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!

Feature Photo : Martin Sidorjak