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September 12, 2009

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Home » Sports » Tennis

American duo snares mixed doubles crown

TRAVIS Parrott and Carly Gullickson put a new spin on how to succeed without really trying by winning the US Open mixed doubles title on Thursday in their first tournament together -- a pairing that flourished more out of desperation than preparation.

The Americans formed their winning combination only two days before the tournament, then received a wildcard even though they'd missed the deadline.

"I was super-relaxed because I felt no pressure on the court, because it was just fun," Gullickson said after a 6-2, 6-4 victory over defending champions Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Leander Paes of India.

Parrott's original partner Abigail Spears decided to play with Robert Kendrick because Kendrick already had a wildcard spot secured. Gullickson and her original partner, Rajeev Ram, weren't ranked high enough to get into the draw.

Parrott heard Gullickson was looking for a teammate. He sent a text. And that's how a champion was born.

Gullickson's dad, former Major League Baseball pitcher Bill Gullickson, flew in for the final, as did Parrott's wife, Kristin.

"She left after we won our first match and we were kidding around," Parrott said. "She's like, 'I'll fly back if you make the finals.'"

But it happened.

Gullickson and Parrott, who also defeated the No. 1 and three seeds along the way, will receive US$150,000 for the win.

Paes, a 36-year-old Indian who already has won four grand slam mixed doubles titles, and Zimbabwean Black will collect US$70,000.


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