PARIS, France - Though she'll lose the World No.1 ranking on Monday, Latisha Chan will leave the French Open with another Grand Slam doubles trophy.
The 28-year-old and partner Ivan Dodig, the second seeds in the mixed doubles draw in Paris, claimed their first title in the discipline and together with a 6-1, 6-7(5), 10-8 win over top seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic on Thursday.
The second-seeded pairing needed to go the distance against Australian Open champions Dabrowski and Pavic, despite serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, and holding a 5-1 lead in the ensuing tiebreak.
The Canadian, who also won the mixed doubles last year in Paris, and the Croatian also nearly dug out of a hole in the match tiebreak having trailed for the duration up until 8-8, but an untimely double fault gave Chan and Dodig a match point to seal victory in one hour and 31 minutes.
Though they ended up as the first champions of this year's French Open, Chan and Dodig revealed after the match that there was a chance they might not have taken the court together at all.
"We just played first time, even though it was really close if we will play. She have some health problems. [I said] I will search for another partner," Dodig said. "Then in the end, I'm, like, no, listen, we have to try, and she was okay.
"We entered, and the things went right way. I really happy to win here and meet her in these circumstances, and hopefully we'll, I hope, continue to play some more. We had great fun on the court, which is most important. We had difficult matches, but the mixed is all about fun and of course trying to win."
Seven years after reaching her first - and only previous - mixed doubles final with Australian Paul Hanley in Melbourne, Chan raised her second Grand Slam trophy overall with the victory.
She and the now-retired Martina Hings were victorious in women's doubles at last year's US Open, en route to being named ITF World Champions at an awards ceremony earlier in the fortnight.
"It feels amazing. At the beginning, I wasn't sure if I'll be able to compete in mixed doubles. At the end, we made the right choice - and then we did it well, had a lot of fun," she said.
"I think this title is important for both of us, especially we are both in the final before. I think we were very hungry for the title of mixed doubles. I think since we have the same goal, we were fighting for the same goal. I'm really happy that it came true."