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Tennis: Late rally ensures Italians Errani & Vinci keep Australian Open title

Published on Jan 24, 2014 6:00 PM
Sara Errani of Italy (right) and Roberta Vinci of Italy celebrate defeating Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Elena Vesnina of Russia in their women's doubles final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne Jan 24, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy produced a great escape on Friday, as they beat Russia's Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to retain the Australian Open women's doubles title.

The Russian third seeds led 5-2 in the decider before Errani and Vinci roared back to clinch their fourth Grand Slam tennis crown and retain their world No.1 ranking.

Victory for Makarova and Vesnina would have lifted them to top spot and when they broke twice to lead 5-2 in the final set, they looked set for the title.

But the Italians stayed strong and won five straight games, clinching victory on their second match point when Vinci fired a forehand return winner down the line.