PARIS -- Japan's Miyu Kato and Germany's Tim Puetz captured the Roland Garros mixed doubles title on Thursday, defeating Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus 4-6, 6-4, [10-6] in the final.
The French Open is Kato's first Grand Slam title and caps off an emotional week for the 28-year-old Japanese doubles specialist, who was disqualified from the women's doubles competition after inadvertently hitting a ball girl with a ball. Along with Puetz, Kato was dominant through the team's run to the title. The duo did not lose a set en route to the final.
"It has been really challenging for me for the past few days," Kato said during the trophy speech. "I want to thank all the players, coaches, everyone for their heartfelt messages of support."
Andreescu and Venus overcame a slow start to come from a break down to take the opening set. Kato and Puetz broke in the opening game and extended their lead to 4-2.
The second set went with the server, with opportunities to break few and far between. Andreescu and Venus earned a late chance to break at 4-3, but the Canadian misfired on a return into the net to allow Kato and Puetz to tie up the set at 4-4.
Andreecu and Venus' missed opportunity would prove costly. Kato and Puetz earned a 15-40 lead in the next game and broke on the deciding point to lead 5-4. Puetz saved two break points, with Kato poaching two returns to seal the set and force a match tiebreak.
Kato and Puetz built a 6-3 lead in the match tiebreak after Venus struck a double-fault down 4-3 and Kato followed with courageous work at the net to extend the lead. The Japanese/German duo rode their momentum to the win, sealing the match after a Venus forehand fell into the net.
"They had a breakpoint at 4-3 to go up 5-3," Puetz said. "With Mikey serving after, it would have been very tough to come back from that. We just hung in there, believed in ourselves, and did really well. Played a really good super-tiebreak in the end.
"I think I speak for both of us that we are really, really happy to be called Grand Slam champion."