Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic cap a near-perfect clay court season by winning their first Grand Slam women's doubles crown in front of their home crowd in three dramatic sets.
WTA Staff

PARIS, France - No.5 seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic earned the biggest win of their young careers to win the French Open over former champions and No.7 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, becomng the first all-French pair to capture their home Slam since 1971.

"It's never logical to win a Grand Slam," Mladenovic said in their post-match press conference. "It's never obvious. You know, you don't win a Grand Slam every single day. Two young French women players who win Roland Garros. So there are the big tournaments that we have already won, which is a good success in itself, but, you know, winning a Grand Slam, and here in Roland Garros, it's ten steps above what is logical or normal."

Garcia and Mladenovic came to Paris having lost just one match through a stellar clay court season in which they captured three titles and earned back-to-back final wins over reigning Co-No.1s Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza. But Makarova and Vesnina were quite formidable opposition throughout the fortnight; the Russians reunited at the Mutua Madrid Open and reached the final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where they pushed Santina to a match tie-break.

"I was telling Caroline, I was saying, Do I want to smile? Laugh? Cry? I don't know. Frankly I couldn't describe. It's a privilege that I already have two titles in mixed. The emotions were very strong, as well. To live this again but slightly differently - it's women's doubles - is a bit different. Well, very different. It's Roland Garros.

"You know, for us, we are French. Both of us are. And to share this with Caro, Caro is someone really dear to my heart, frankly, honestly. We've shared incredible things together.

"Sharing this with a friend on the court, you know, when you think about history, you know, we've known each other when we were really young, when we were kids. Now we are 22 and 23. We are winning Roland Garros on the central court. Almost crowned with people. We have the impression that people are singing the National Anthem, Le Marseillaise. They were saying, Caro, KiKi. And 6-4 in the third set it's loads of emotions frankly."

Following a long opening game, the French raced out to a 5-0 lead in Sunday's final when Makarova and Vesnina came to life, saving six set points as they clawed their way back from a double break deficit. Garcia and Mladenovic ultimately served out the one set lead, but the momentum was firmly with the Russians in the second set, leveling the match in 33 minutes.

The pairs exchanged breaks to begin the decider, and while the French failed to convert a long seventh game, which featured four break points, they calmly captured the final three games of the match - and 12 of the last 15 points - to claim their first Grand Slam title in women's doubles. For Garcia, the victory marks her first major title of any kind, while Mladenovic adds to her collection of two major titles in mixed doubles at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships and the 2014 Australian Open - both with Daniel Nestor.

"It's difficult to express yourself correctly because it's about emotions," Garcia said. "But when you have to serve such a match, such a tournament - I was serving; Kristina was at the net - and each point was even more important than a normal point.

"The last game was incredible, and the ball was out. Then, you know, we did it. We did it and we fought for it.

"It has been a difficult week. Each match was complicated, but each time we did better than what we usually do.

"All the tough moments that you go through during a year, you know, we have a young career, if I can say, and each time we managed to stand out. We were fighting on the court with our team backing us up."