Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mike Bryan defeated Lucie Hradecka and Marcin Matkowski, 7-6(3), 6-1, to capture the first piece of silverware at this year's French Open.
WTA Staff

PARIS, France - Bethanie Mattek-Sands completed the first half of a potential French Open double when she partnered Mike Bryan to victory in the mixed doubles on Thursday evening.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Mattek-Sands and Bryan had come perilously close to exiting the tournament altogether, squeaking past Katarina Srebotnik and Horia Tecau on a match tie-break. However, once they had negotiated a tight opening set, the possibility of any such drama in the final quickly disappeared as the Americans put Lucie Hradecka and Marcin Matkowski to the sword, 7-6(3), 6-1.

The tournament served as a trial run ahead of next summer's Olympics in Rio, where Mattek-Sands and Bryan hope to play together.

"It was amazing - it was so much fun playing with Mike and we have great energy out there," Mattek-Sands said. "We literally kind of hooked up a few days before here and said, 'Hey, let's give it a go.'

"Even though in a couple of matches we were down, we came back and fought. I mean Mike is one of the greatest doubles players of all time, so it was really fun and an honor to play with him. I have a way to go to catch up on his titles, but now I get to add Roland Garros to my trophy collection."

And according to Bryan, who now has four mixed doubles major titles to his name, the feelings are mutual. ''Our chemistry was great from the first point on; it was not always smooth but she kept me in it," he said.

It has been quite the year for Mattek-Sands on the doubles court. In January, another hastily arranged partnership, this time with Lucie Safarova, resulted in a maiden Grand Slam title, at the Australian Open. The two are playing together in Paris, too, and after knocking out top seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza in the quarterfinals, remain on course for more silverware. 

Like Mattek-Sands, Safarova has been battling on multiple fronts this fortnight, upsetting a number of the favorites to reach the singles final. While the Czech was wrapping up victory in her singles semifinal against Ana Ivanovic, Mattek-Sands was watching on from the bowels of Roland Garros ahead of her own contest.

"It was so much fun - I was able to go out and watch a little bit of her match today. It was pretty hot, but she played awesome," Mattek-Sands said. "I watched the last bit in the locker room before the final so I didn't get to give her a big hug afterwards. But I'm so happy for her. I mean, she works hard and is probably one of the nicest people on tour. She really deserves it."