For the second year running, Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig defeated Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic in straight sets to win the Roland Garros mixed doubles crown - becoming the first ever pair to defend the title in the Open Era.
Alex Macpherson
June 7, 2019

PARIS, France - The unseeded Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig became the first pair in the Open Era to defend the Roland Garros mixed doubles title, defeating No.2 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic in the final for a second straight year 6-1, 7-6(5) in one hour and 19 minutes.

"I think it was a great match today, in a rematch from last year's final," Chan said. "Today's weather, it wasn't easy to play out there, because it was very windy and cold."

The last pair to successfully defend the title were Margaret Court and Ken Fletcher, three-time champions from 1963 to 1965.

Since then, only Bob Bryan - who won in 2008 with Victoria Azarenka and in 2009 with Liezel Huber - has won the mixed doubles crown in back-to-back years.

Last year, Chan and Dodig won a 6-1, 6-7(5), [10-8] thriller over Dabrowski and Pavic to seal a maiden mixed doubles Grand Slam trophy for each - and today's match bore many resemblances.

Just as in 2018, the Chinese Taipei-Croatian duo got off to a flying start, dropping only five points on serve in the first set with Dodig swarming the net at every opportunity.

Latisha Chan, Ivan Dodig - Roland Garros 2019 - Getty

Chan's hard-hitting groundstrokes would be a key weapon in the defending champions' armoury, with a fizzing forehand return paving the way to a break of the Dabrowski serve to go up 3-1 - sealed when the Canadian offered up a double fault down break point.

As the wind picked up to the point where a mini-haboob seemed to have hit Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Dabrowski's partner was afflicted as well: two games later Pavic surrendered his serve with a double fault of his own and some errors at net, and Chan made no mistake in serving out the set.

The second set saw a renewed Dabrowski and Pavic open up a 4-1 lead after capturing the Chan serve with a Dabrowski backhand return winner, but the 2018 Australian Open champions could not maintain their lead.

Despite valiant defensive play from the Canadian-Croatian pair, Chan and Dodig would claw their way back into the set to level at 4-4 via two deciding points - both won by Chan with a backhand return winner to break Dabrowski and a service winner to hold.

As the second set entered a tiebreak for the second year in a row, Dabrowski and Pavic were hoping to reprise last year's final by forcing a decider - but Chan and Dodig were equally determined to prevent the match getting to that stage.

Twice the defending champions gained a minibreak thanks to Chan's raking groundstrokes setting up an emphatic Dodig volley putaway - and although the Croatian squandered one championship point with a shanked forehand, he made up for it by powering a winner from the same wing through the middle of the court to seal the title.

"I'm happy that we managed to come back from 1-4 down in the second set," added Chan, "and I'm happy that we could win this tournament for the second straight year, and win it in straight sets."