‘‘That’s kind of the new era of doubles. You see guys serving and staying back,’’ he said. ‘‘You’re going to see that over the (coming) years. When most of these doubles guys become extinct, you’re going see just a bunch of crosscourt singles.’’
TEENAGE DREAM: Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty already knows how she'll spend part of the prize money she'll pocket for reaching the women’s doubles final at the Australian Open.
‘‘It will cover a few of the Tigers jerseys that I buy,’’ she said, referring to her favorite Australian rules Australian Football League team, the Richmond Tigers. ‘‘I have far too many at home.’’
Barty may need to think a little bigger — if she and fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua win the final against the No. 1 team in the world, Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, they'll take home $250,000 apiece. Not a bad payday for a 16-year-old.
Barty and Dellacqua, wild-card entrants into the doubles draw, are having an amazing run in Melbourne. They took out the No. 3 seeds, Lisa Raymond and Maria Kirilenko, in the second round, and followed up that win with three more straight-set victories.
Barty is the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin won the mixed doubles at the 2004 French Open at the age of 16 with Richard Gasquet.
‘‘Already this week for me has been such an achievement,’’ Barty said. ‘‘If we can go one step further, it would be incredible.’’
The Italian duo will be tough to beat. Errani and Vinci won the French Open and U.S. Open doubles last year — and defeated Serena and Venus Williams in three tight sets in the quarterfinals this week.
‘‘We’re definitely the underdogs,’’ Dellacqua said. ‘‘I don’t think many people would have thought we'd be in the final. To go out there and think we’re going to beat the No. 1 players in the world, it’s going to be a big task.’’
Barty and Dellacqua were included in the Australian team named Thursday to play a Fed Cup match against the Czech Republic next month.