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French delight in the men’s doubles
Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin secured their maiden Grand Slam title, securing at 6-3, 7-6(1) win over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the men’s doubles final on Saturday evening.
The match was played out in beautiful sunshine in front of an appreciative Philippe Chatrier crowd, who had previously enjoyed an epic women’s singles final.
Both pairings were looking to secure their first ever title at a major. For Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin, it was just their third Grand Slam appearance together. They have only been playing together regularly this year, and picked up their first title in Marseille.
Granollers and Lopez meanwhile are a more familiar partnership, with this being their ninth Grand Slam appearance together. In the past, the Spaniards had reached the semi-finals at the 2012 US Open and the 2013 Australian Open, while earlier this year they secured their fourth title together on the clay at Buenos Aires.
They also defeated the No.1 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in the quarter-finals 6-4, 6-2. The only seeds whom the French pairing had to face were their compatriots Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut, the No.5-ranked team who retired after just three games after the Parisian lefty Llodra suffered a back injury in his last ever game here at Roland Garros.
The French team carved out any number of opportunities but managed just two breaks – one towards the end of the first set and the other at the beginning of the second. The Spaniards then broke back to level at 3-3 as Roger-Vasselin seemed to tire, and the second set went to a tiebreak.
The raucous crowd acted as the third member of the French team in the breaker, whipping up a Davis Cup-style atmosphere. Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin rode the wave of support to take the tiebreak 7-1 and become the first Gallic pairing to win the men’s doubles at a Grand Slam since Llodra and Arnaud Clement beat the Bryans at Wimbledon in 2007.