By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Romanian Horia Tecau eased past Feliciano and Marc Lopez 6-4 6-3 to claim their first U.S. Open doubles grand slam with Rojer making a small political statement following the win on Friday.
The 12th seeded Rojer and Tecau, who rallied from a set down to upset top seeded Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the semi-finals, needed just 86 minutes on a sunny Arthur Ashe Stadium court to add the U.S. Open championship to the Wimbledon title they won in 2015.
The final was the first in the Open era (since 1968) to feature two teams seeded outside the top 10.
During the trophy presentation, Rojer, who was born and lives in Curacao, was asked about the outfit he was wearing, which featured a florescent yellow shirt with a picture of the Statue of Liberty across the front.
The Dutchman explained it was inspired by a rally by white nationalists in Virginia last month that left one woman dead.
“The idea came after the tragic incident in Charlottesville and we came up with this line promoting peace and freedom and liberty,” said Rojer as a small crowd cheered. “I have been wearing it all around and I have another one that has a bunch of people locked in arms civil rights march and hopefully we are moving in that direction.
“I have been here since I was 12 years old, it’s a great country I am happy they let me in and that I got to do my job here.
“Hopefully we will create those opportunities for everybody.”
Meanwhile it was more disappointment for Spain.
Spanish teams have been in the Flushing Meadows final three of last four years but again fell short of ending a drought that has stretched back to a victory by Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1988.
“We didn’t have many chances on their serve and they took all of them,” lamented Feliciano Lopez, who was beaten in the third round of the singles by Roger Federer.
“This is something to be proud of and I think we have many years to still play together.”
(Editing by Gene Cherry)