Las Vegan Muhammad wins doubles match at U.S. Open

It took Asia Muhammad four tries, but she finally tasted victory at a Grand Slam tournament.

The 24-year-old Las Vegan teamed with Maria Sanchez on Wednesday to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic and Jarmila Gajdosova 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-2 to advance to the second round of women’s doubles at the U.S. Open.

Muhammad, ranked No. 95 in doubles and No. 322 in singles by the WTA Tour computer, had lost in the first round in doubles in three previous tries — all at Flushing Meadows — in 2008, 2009 and 2014.

“There’s nothing better than winning at the Open,” Muhammad said after the match from Queens, N.Y. “We had the crowd behind us, and it was a great feeling to finally advance.”

Muhammad and Sanchez on Friday will face the winner of today’s match between the Italian team of Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta against Americans Irina Falconi and Anna Tatishvili.

Muhammad, who turned pro in 2006, has two doubles tournament victories this year. In February, she teamed with Samantha Crawford to win an ITF event in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. In June, she and Laura Siegemund won a WTA doubles title in the Netherlands.

On Wednesday, Muhammad and Sanchez kept their mistakes to a minimum. They recorded nine aces and had just three unforced errors.

“We went out there aggressive, and that mindset helped us,” Muhammad said. “We’re both tall and athletic, and when we come forward, we can shrink the court and not give our opponents as much room.”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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