NEW YORK, NY, USA - Former Australian Open and French Open champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova added the third part of the Career Grand Slam by coming back from the brink against top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, edging past the Frenchwomen, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
"It was a little bit of a slow start, but I've gotta give credit to our opponents," Mattek-Sands said after the match. "They came out playing big, serving big, making all their rolls, ripping returns.
"I think one of the things that we do really well is we don't get too down no matter what the score is. We're really positive."
Mattek-Sands and Safarova began the 2015 season with a bang, capturing the first two legs of a Calendar Year Grand Slam, but were soon felled by Safarova's struggles with injury and illness. Reuniting to win the Miami Open earlier this spring, the American-Czech duo had made their deepest run at a Slam this year and upset reigning Olympic Gold medalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the semifinals.
Mattek-Sands herself had captured a Gold medal in mixed doubles alongside Jack Sock - upsetting former No.1 Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram in a match tie-break.
Garcia and Mladenovic had recovered well from their own early defeat in Rio, and were aiming to build on the news that they had become the second team to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global with a second Grand Slam title, having already won Roland Garros in June.
Up a set and a break, the French lost serve for the first time in the match when they found themselves one game from victory.
"It was funny. I think Lucie had more energy than me. She was carrying me on her back and getting me pumped up," Mattek-Sands said before Safarova chimed in,
"But that's what good friends and partner do," Mattek-Sands continued. "It happens sometimes. You play a team that's playing good or you might not be making all the shots, but any match can turn around in a couple of points.
"That's just a matter of sticking to it."
The experienced Mattek-Sands and Safarova pounced on their sudden opportunity and took the second set in a tie-break, later holding on for dear life themselves when it came time to close out their third major win as a team.
The win puts them in pole position to qualify for Singapore for the second straight year, moving up to No.7 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.
"I think the chemistry is great," Safarova said. We complement each other so well. Our games just fit. "