No.2 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic cruised into their first French Open final as a team over Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka, sealing Mladenovic's rise to the No.1 doubles ranking.
WTA Staff
June 7, 2019

PARIS, France - Kristina Mladenovic will play for a French Open doubles title on Sunday, and will become World No.1 on Monday.

The 26-year-old Frenchwoman and partner Timea Babos advanced to the championship match on Friday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over No.6 seeds Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka.

Mladenovic, the 2016 winner in Paris alongside Caroline Garcia, will play her first French Open final with Babos. 

Read more: Mladenovic to ascend to World No.1 in doubles

Babos spent a total of 13 weeks at World No.1 in doubles last season, and her partner is set to rise to that perch for the first time.

In Friday's semifinal, Babos and Mladenovic were looking to avenge a defeat to Mertens and Sabalenka from the BNP Paribas Open in March, which kicked off the latter pair's incredible run to the Sunshine Double at Indian Wells and Miami.

The No.2 seeds were quick out of the gates, breaking in the first game of each set, and never let go of their advantage for the duration of the 73-minute match. 

The victory also ended Mertens' chances of rising to World No.1 next week, as the Belgian and Belarusian pair would've needed to win the title.

In the final, Babos and Mladenovic will face the surprise unseeded team of Duan Ying-ying and Zheng Saisai, who defeated No.15 seeds Kirsten Flipkens and Johanna Larsson in the other semifinal, 6-4, 6-4.

The Chinese team has defeated three seeded teams so far this fortnight, and saved a match point against No.4 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yi-fan in the quarterfinals.