The third time’s the charm for Marc López…
The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player and his compatriot Feliciano Lopez won the French Open on Saturday for their first Grand Slam doubles title, denying Bob and Mike Bryan a 17th major trophy.
It was Marc Lopez’s third Grand Slam final appearance, having finished runner-up at Roland Garros and at the US Open two years ago alongside Marcel Granollers. It was Feliciano Lopez’s first Grand Slam doubles final.
The duo became the first Spanish pair to win at Roland Garros in 26 years with a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 victory over their American rivals.
The No. 15 seeds played together only once before at a major tournament and had to struggle to get to the final.
They saved six match points in their quarterfinal win over 2014 champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They went to three sets before downing defending champions Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the semifinals.
The Bryans, the most successful pairing of all time, were seeking a third title on the red clay following victories in 2003 and 2013.
“The tough thing about us is that if we don’t leave with the big trophy it’s devastating,” Bob Bryan said. “We have high standards, and sometimes that makes it not fun, because we can’t get any kind of enjoyment out of a final or semi like maybe some other players.
“You know, that’s the burden that we carry. We’re feeling that pain right now. We don’t take any solace out of leaving with the square plate.”
Feliciano Lopez sealed the Spaniards’ win with an ace, and both partners fell on their backs in jubilation.
“You can’t imagine what it means to win a Grand Slam for the first time, against the best players in the sport,” Feliciano Lopez said.
The fifth-seeded Bryans saved a match point in the tiebreaker before evening it 1-1 in sets, but their rivals returned better in the decider and converted two of three break points.
“Winning a Grand Slam is something amazing, and I didn’t have a Grand Slam victory on my résumé,” Marc Lopez said. “Roland Garros is my favorite tournament. It has been the case for quite a long time. When I was a kid, I was watching the matches of great champions, the Spanish champions.”
The previous Spanish doubles team to win the French Open was Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1990.