STA Director Dan Kiernan guides players to two US Open Trophies!

Posted on: September 14, 2023 |

Grand Slam Champions

It’s been an incredible fortnight at the US Open for STA Director Dan Kiernan, as his players won not one, but two doubles titles!

First Denmark’s Harri Heliövaara and Anna Danilina from Kazakhstan became Grand Slam Champions for the first time, winning the 2023 Mixed Doubles title without dropping a set.

Harri and Anna only met for the first time at the sign-in desk the previous week, before beating top seeds Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek 6-3 6-4 in the final. 

Dan has been working with Hari Heliovaara and former STA Full Time player Lloyd Glasspool since January.

"Good things happen to good people. Harri and Anna deserve this for their ability to stay courageous in the key moments throughout their 5 matches beating some fantastic pairs. They performed to such a high level against the current world no. 1 doubles players in both the Men's (Krajicek) and Women's (Pegula) games to win the trophy. It is a real pleasure to be a small part of this amazing achievement and I have no doubt this experience will have a positive effect on their Men's/Women's doubles careers."
Dan Kiernan
STA Academy Director

Women's Doubles Triumph

Harri and Anna were followed by Canada’s Gaby Dabrowski & Erin Routliffe from New Zealand, who triumphed in the Women’s Doubles Final.

Gaby is a regular on Dan’s podcast Control the Controllables as a panelist who previews and reviews the Grand Slams. Dan and Gaby started working together at the US Open, and what a start they’ve made!

Gaby and Erin swept past No.12 seeds Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva 7-6(9), 6-3 in Sunday’s final. It’s Gaby’s 14th career doubles title, and Erin’s 4th, and their first together after only their fourth tournament as a team.

"This victory is a true example of sticking together unconditionally - something we don't do enough in 2023! The girls stayed in 'their moment' regardless of the situation, and their commitment to this has reaped the biggest of awards. I am very proud of them both, and this is only the start of what their partnership can achieve together."
Dan Kiernan
STA Academy Director

Team Soto Family in NYC

It was so special having some of our Team Soto family there to support Dan and the players court-side at Flushing Meadows.

A massive congratulations to all 4 US Open Champions on an unforgettable Grand Slam! And of course to Dan for guiding both pairs to victory!

Victory in Italy

Congratulations must also to Team Soto Pro Tamara Zidanšek on an amazing run at the Open Delle Puglie tournament in Bari last week – WTA 125 Winner! We are very proud of Tamara and her team, including STA Performance Coach Mike Digby.

Good luck to Tamara competing this week at her home event, WTA Zavarovalnoca Sava Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Let’s go Tamara!

Magic Moments

What an inspiration these magic moments have been to our Full Time Players here at SotoTennis Academy, who are all just starting the new year back at base.

You can hear Dan and Gaby chat all about the final Grand Slam of the year in the US Open 2023 Review episode of Control the Controllables, released later today!

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