They gave it back! As in 2016, the French pair made up of Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia won the double at Roland-Garros 2022. On Sunday June 5, the two players dominated the American pair Cori Gauff-Jessica Pegula after a fight hooked and three sets (2-6, 6-3, 6-2) on an already very hot Philippe-Chatrier court before attending the final between Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud.
This title represents the return to the forefront of a duo who seemed destined never to evolve together on a field again. A few months after their first title at Roland-Garros, Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic also reached the final at the US Open, looking set to largely dominate the discipline in the following years. But a falling out put an end to this collaboration.
? DONE!!! ?? Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic win the doubles final against Coco Gauff and Jess… https://t.co/PTJEDqUg2y
Determined to focus on her career in singles, Caroline Garcia skipped most doubles tournaments and especially the Fed Cup, which her teammates in the France team, Kristina Mladenovic, Pauline Parmentier and Alizée Cornet in the lead would not forgive her.
“I don’t know if people realize that, yes, we had a great doubles career together, but outside of tennis, we never shared anything. I haven’t lost much ’cause it’s not like she’s my best friend and she’s known my whole life “wrote Kristina Mladenovic in 2017, in a column for the Sport360 site.
The 2019 Fed Cup as a bandage
Since then, water has flowed under the bridges. Caroline Garcia has returned to the France team and the victory obtained in the Australian Fed Cup in 2019 ended up easing tensions. In difficulty in singles (Kristina Mladenovic was eliminated in the first round of this Roland-Garros, Caroline Garcia in the second), the two players played the Australian Open together at the start of the year, and then Roland Garros, where their embrace on the match point has undoubtedly finished convincing the general public that all is well between the two players.
“I am very happy to be teaming up with Kristina again. There is no better title for us than Roland-Garros,” said Caroline Garcia when receiving the cup. For Kristina Mladenovic, this is the third Porte d’Auteuil title (she won in 2019 with the Hungarian Timea Babos), she who also won two Australian Open in doubles, and two Australian Open and a Wimbledon in mixed doubles.
However, nothing was easy in this final on Sunday. As in the semi-finals, the French pair got off to a bad start and were beaten 6-2 in the first set. But obviously much more accomplices on the ground than Cori Gauff and Jessica Pegula, they immediately put the pressure to make the break from the start of the second set and pocketed it without shaking a few minutes later (6-3).
A bright spot for the Blues
Opposite, the American pair, Cori Gauff in the lead, began to tremble. Already beaten the day before in the singles final by Iga Swiatek, the young player (18) seemed to be showing her age again. Two double faults on the first three points of the set ended up putting his team in difficulty, which never recovered from a new break conceded at the start of the inning. Despite a last service game from Kristina Mladenovic which was a little difficult, the two Frenchwomen could exult on a smash from Caroline Garcia.
This victory, combined with that of Gabriel Debru in the Juniors on Saturday June 4, brings a smile back to French tennis, which has been in dire need of results in recent months. Despite some good performances, like Léolia Jeanjean or Hugo Gaston, no tricolor had managed to go beyond the third round in singles this year at Porte d’Auteuil, whether for men or women. Fortunately, Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic have already made an appointment in doubles next year.