Danielle Dominates  - 

Tennis fans at the Credit One Charleston Open couldn’t ask for a better way to kick off a beautiful Finals Sunday as home crowd favorites and wild card entrants Ashlyn Krueger and Sloane Stephens claimed the trophy over Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine.

The Americans recovered from a sluggish opening set to overcome the team of twin sisters, winning 1-6, 6-3, [10-7] after an hour and 19 minutes of play.

The Charleston Open title is both 19-year-old Krueger’s and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, 31-year-old Stephens’ first doubles title at the tour level – but by the looks of their play this week, it might not be their last.

“You guys have been so supportive all week for us, so we really appreciate it,” said Krueger after receiving her first WTA trophy of any kind and, as Stephens reminded her, giving her first victory speech.

“I want to say thank you to all of Charleston,” said Stephens, taking the mic. “You make this event so incredibly special. I held the [singles] trophy here in 2016 and to hold my first-ever doubles trophy in Charleston is super special.

“It’s one of the best stops on tour.”

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

The Kichenok sisters showed off their doubles pedigree on the very first point of the match, feathering a delicate drop shot cross court into the open space for a silky winner that set the tone for the contest on a sunny day in Charleston.

Although the American duo was able to find spots of strong play throughout the set, their newness as a team was exposed by the veteran Ukrainians, who pummelled Stephens at the back of the baseline and opted to finish off short replies her teenaged partner’s direction.

In less than half an hour and winning all four of their deciding points, Lyudmyla & Nadia claimed the first set.

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

Fortunately for the Americans – and the packed home crowd at the Credit One Stadium – the deciding point luck would finally fall in their favor to start the second set, breaking on a Kichenok double fault to earn the lead.

From there, Stephens, known for her singles triumph at the 2017 US Open but a three-time junior Grand Slam champ back in 2009, was able to show her own doubles prowess. She and the big-serving Krueger, just a year removed from her own junior career, found the synergy needed to wrestle control back from the Kichenoks.

Striking the ball with superior baseline power and the andled accuracy that had eluded them in the first set, Stephens/Krueger were able to level the match at a set apiece on a sensational running backhand pass down the line.

Credit One Charleston Open, Credit One Stadium

The Americans saved their best to kick off the match tiebreak, surging ahead by an an early double mini-break and taking advantage of tentative play by their more experienced Ukrainian rivals. Stephens was particularly effective from the baseline, mixing heavy topspin on her forehands with precision flat hitting off the backhand, forcing the Kichenoks to scramble away from the net where they had been comfortable for most of the match.

A massive Stephens forehand winner down the middle serving at 8-7 set up championship point and, with the trophy in sight, one final booming serve off the American’s racquet sealed the win for the home team.

Introducing your 2024 Credit One Charleston Open doubles champions: Sloane Stephens and Ashlyn Krueger!

2024 Charleston Open Ashlyn Krueger Lyudmyla Kichenok Nadiia Kichenok Sloane Stephens