He may not have raised the championship trophy at the French Open, but Santiago González still has plenty of reason to be proud of his performance at Roland Garros.
The 29-year-old Mexican tenista and his mixed doubles partner Klaudia Jans-Ignacek—who lost in the finals on Thursday to No. 7 seeds Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi 7-6(3), 6-1—weren’t even expected to make it past the first round.
González and Jans-Ignacek weren’t ranked coming into the tournament, but defeated No. 8 seeds Nadia Petrova and Daniel Nestor in the first round to lay down a marker.
And the unheralded pairing looked like they would continue their Parisian fairy-tale right through to the title when they broke Mirza’s first service game to lead 2-0. But Gonzalez could not serve out the first set at 5-4, allowing the Indian team to get back on serve. The set would end in a tie-break, with Mirza and Bhupathi winning it 7-3.
In the second set, it seemed like the magic was gone with Bhupathi and Mirza cruising to two breaks and winning 6-1.
For González—who won a gold medal in mixed doubles at last year’s Pan American Games in Guadalajara—it was his best showing at a Grand Slam tournament, besting his previous-best showing at this year’s Australian Open.