Home hopes in Men's Doubles final

 - Dan Imhoff

Herbert and Mahut fly the French flag as they seek to deny Australian Open champions Marach and Pavic in Saturday's final.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert et Nicolas Mahut, Roland-Garros 2018©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

Men's doubles final

Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut
v Oliver Marach & Mate Pavic

Second match, Court Philippe-Chatrier

What’s at stake

New champions will be crowned in Saturday's men’s doubles final when two Grand Slam-winning tandems square off. Home hopes are pinned on Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. Roland-Garros was the only major final the Frenchmen had not reached prior to their semi-final victory on Thursday. The No.6 seeds are bidding for their third Grand Slam title against No.2 seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. The Austrian and Croatian will aim for a second straight Grand Slam title after their triumph Down Under in January.

Head-to-head history

Herbert and Mahut have won both prior meetings between the pairs, with the two matches played in the past nine months. The Frenchmen prevailed in the Montreal semi-finals on hard-courts last August, and again on an indoor hard court in this year’s Rotterdam final, a result which snapped an unbeaten 17-match start to the season for Marach and Pavic. 

Form coming in

Marach and Pavic’s unbeaten start to open 2018 included hard-court titles in Doha, Auckland and the Australian Open. Now the No.2 seeds have set about creating another winning streak on the clay. After taking out the Geneva Open title and winning through to their maiden Roland-Garros final they have won their past nine matches, including a straight-sets semi-final triumph over 2016 champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez on Friday.

Herbert and Mahut reached the semi-finals in Madrid and looked set for their second straight opening-round exit at their home Grand Slam before they survived two match points to deny Robert Lindstedt and Marcin Matkowski. They have not dropped a set since, including a win over in-form eighth seeds Alexander Peya and Nikola Mektic in the semi-finals.

Grand Slam history

Herbert and Mahut are attempting to become just the third all-French team to win Roland-Garros, after Henri Leconte and Yannick Noah in 1984 and Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 2014. The 36-year-old Mahut has come close before, however, finishing runner-up in 2013 with Michael Llodra to Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. A win on home soil would add to the French duo’s US Open 2015 and Wimbledon 2016 triumphs. They also reached an Australian Open final in 2015 where they fell to Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

The 37-year-old Marach had twice fallen in the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros prior to 2018, but his 24-year-old playing partner had never passed the third round in any major prior to the pair’s runner-up showing at Wimbledon last year. This is their third slam final in the past 12 months.