Does the public make the victory? Long led in a three-quarters empty Philippe-Chatrier court, Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic gradually revealed themselves to the rhythm of the arrival of their supporters. Facing Coco Gauff, already a singles finalist on Saturday, and Jessica Pegula, the Habs overthrew the Americans in three sets (2-6, 6-3, 6-2), Sunday, June 5. Together, they are still undefeated at Roland-Garros.
Under the reminders of a frenzied fanfare in the stands, the Habs gradually took control of the game. First asphyxiated by the power of the Americans, respectively 11th and 23rd in the world in singles, the French pair regained their aggressiveness at the start of the second set. Transforming with authority the break points which had however failed them before (0/6 in the first set, 3/3 in the second) and erasing the (too) many faults at the net seen in the first set, the Tricolores have reversed the trend with a breakneck pace.
Under the encouragement of a public committed to their cause and in a suddenly thunderous atmosphere, worthy of the Fed Cup – a tournament that the two players know well for having won it in 2019 – “Kiki” and “Caro” have break from the Americans. In perfect coordination, the Tricolores stuck in the wake of an expeditious shutout, in just over a minute, on the service of their opponents (4-0). In a completely mastered score, the long-line forehands of the northerner found their target, while the Lyonnaise unrolled her short drop shots at the net.
If Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, who remained on five doubles titles this year including a victory in Doha, have gradually eroded their delay (4-3), the French women did not let their luck slip away, concluding the set on a topspin volley from Mladenovic. Tight point, the latter sent a small grateful sign to the fanfare in the stands.
The third set was just a long unfolding under the olas and the “Marseillaise” from the public resounded several times. A collective symbiosis which pushed the French women to conclude with a smash of Garcia, for a huge ovation. “I am very, very happy to team up again with kristina six years after the last title at Roland and go get this one together. Two French women Roland, there is no better way to win a title in the world” expressed himself, moved, carolina Garcia at the end of the game.
“I didn’t think you were going to be so numerous, there was a crazy atmosphere, you helped us come back from the first set and gave a lot of chills” added the Frenchwoman who was playing her second final. For Mladenovic, this title is his fourth on the Parisian courts (with Garcia in 2016 then with Timea Babos in 2019 and 2020).
The slender right-hander, eliminated in the first round of the singles tournament, did not hide her emotion:“Without the wild card we didn’t win Roland. We don’t play doubles too much anymore, so we didn’t have too many rankings. It’s great to win again. (…) Sunday morning, having a full stadium is unimaginable, you sold us the dream.” A beautiful tribute paid to the public, decidedly no stranger to this victory.