Doubles Take looks at the last major of 2020 and previews this week’s action.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
It’s fairly safe to say the return to tournament action had not been going well for Kristina Mladenovic the past few weeks. In New York, the Frenchwoman’s singles campaign came to a shocking end and then, she and Timea Babos were denied the opportunity to add to their Grand Slam title haul due to COVID-19 protocols. Her singles efforts at her home Slam, Roland Garros, came to another quick end with some controversy attached.
Despite all that, there was opportunity to erase the misfortune of the past few weeks in doubles, where she and Babos were the No. 2 seeds.
And this time, there would be no denying the duo.
In a run that saw Babos and Mladenovic get through some tough matches, the pair defended their title with a straight-sets win over first-time major finalists and recent Istanbul champs Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi. For the victors, it’s their fourth Grand Slam title in three years and second of 2020.
UNDERDOG ROLE EMBRACED
Entering Roland Garros last year on the strength of back-to-back ATP Challenger wins, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies continued their winning ways in Paris, shocking the field to come away as unseeded champions.
It was as big a shock as any in tennis last year, but as can often be the case for someone causing such a surprise, the Germans came back down to earth rather quickly, posting up-and-down results throughout the rest of the year and continuing into 2020, pre- and post-shutdown.
Even though they were seeded No. 8 this year, their recent results definitely had them under the radar as far as being considered contenders—which, evidently, was just how they liked it.
Krawietz and Mies defended their title with a straight-sets win over the recent US Open champs, Bruno Soares and Mate Pavic, in the final.
French Open Champs 2020!! . What a tournament for us, tough to say something, so so happy that we did it again @andreas_mies so proud of us #rolandgarros #titel #2 #magicplace #kramies # ————— @verpafolie @brosekarriere @headtennis_official @lottotennis @solinco @raygiubilo
Krawietz and Mies captured their fourth career title—with two of those coming at Roland Garros. They also became the first repeat champs since Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in 2011-’12.
Traditionally, the WTA would be well into the fall “Asian swing” of the calendar, but all action on the continent has been canceled for 2020. The players will be back in action next week, though, in Europe. The men, meanwhile, have three events on the calendar with the biggest being the St. Petersburg Open, a 500-level event in Russia. Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, the top seeds, are already out, having lost a match tiebreak to the underrated pairing of Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, singles stars who’ve actually made two Masters finals together.
A new tournament in Cologne, Germany, sees Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo top the draw, followed by Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. Both of those Grand Slam-winning teams are looking for their second triumphs of the season. And the clay-court season isn’t over yet, with another new tournament taking place in Sardinia, Italy. There, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the world’s top-ranked doubles players, will try for their first title of 2020 against a field that also includes John Peers and Michael Venus, the second seeds who won in Hamburg on clay right before the French Open.