NEW YORK: A golden moment for Australian Ashleigh Barty and American CoCo Vandeweghe was tinged with disappointment when tournament officials did not let them speak to the crowd after winning the U.S. Open women's doubles final on Sunday.
The pair said they were hustled off court after receiving their trophy for defeating Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 7-6(2) 7-6(8) and were not offered the customary moment to thank their coaches and families.
"I'm just bummed we didn't have any sort of award ceremony. We couldn't thank anyone. I think that was poor form," Vandeweghe told reporters.
"Maybe we'll get another moment sometime, we'll have another Grand Slam at Australia. Maybe they'll do us right in Australia since the U.S. couldn't do me right."
Barty said they were escorted out because "the men needed to start", referring to Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic, who started the men's singles final in the same Arthur Ashe stadium immediately afterwards.
"To be honest, I don't think they would have worried if they were 10 or 15 minutes delayed. I think it would have been nice for us to be able to thank our teams and all the people that make it a possibility, and to thank the crowd as well," Barty said.
"They were a little bit confused as to why we weren't given the opportunity."
Their remarks came amid a firestorm of controversy at Flushing Meadows, after American Serena Williams was handed three code violations during the women's final, costing her one game in the match, a decision Vandeweghe called "ridiculous".
"I thought it was a poor call from the umpire. I think he should be held accountable just like the players are," Vandeweghe said.
"What I think is the umpires, they antagonise a lot of players. There's certain ones that need to be checked."
The championship was the first major title for each player, who produced a gutsy performance in the second and third sets and forced their opponents into 52 errors during the match.
Hungary's Babos and France's Mladenovic appeared in command early on but Barty and Vandeweghe saved 10 of the 14 break points they faced.
In the third-set tiebreaker Barty fired a forehand winner and forced an error on a service return before Mladenovic double-faulted to end the match and a delighted Vandeweghe collapsed to the court before embracing her partner.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery, editing by Ed Osmond)