Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut fought back from a set and a break down at 4-5 to overcome Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev and claim their second Roland Garros title on Saturday.
The home favourites, who were backed heavily on Court Philippe-Chatrier, won 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes as they became the first all-French team to triumph at the clay-court Grand Slam twice. It is their fifth Grand Slam title overall, with the team having won the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open titles once.
“At the end we’re here with the trophy. It’s amazing,” Mahut said. “With the family, with our wives, sons, it’s something that you’re lucky when it happen once in your life. This is the second time for us. We could not be any happier tonight.”
“From the start to the end, we had amazing support,” Herbert added. “Maybe the best support I’ve had in my whole life for a two-week tournament. The final was terrible for me as I was tight the whole match. I wanted it so badly, maybe even more than the other four, so to win was really special.”
Before today, the Frenchmen had not won a Grand Slam doubles title since claiming the Australian Open crown in 2019. Herbert claimed this had dented their confidence, but it has now been restored.
Herbert admitted: “For us as a team, we’ve been kind of struggling. We have not won a really big title for a long time now. Coming into this tournament, we didn’t come with the same confidence as we did in the past.
“Being able to lift this trophy is just amazing because I think we won all these matches, not because we were better players, our level was not really better, but our behaviour on court. The way we stayed positive, the way we managed to play with the fears we had, that’s why now we can look at each other and say we had an amazing week.”
After an even start, Bublik and Golubev, who were aiming to become the first Kazakh men to win a Grand Slam title in any discipline, won three games in a row from 2-2, breaking the 2018 Roland Garros champions twice to move 5-2 ahead. Although the French tandem did close to 4-5, Bublik and Golubev held serve to clinch the set as they won 80 per cent (16/20) of their first service points.
Despite being broken at the start of the second, the Kazakhstanis continued to return well, claiming 40 per cent (8/20) of points on Herbert and Mahut’s first-serve, as they won four of the next five games to lead 5-4. However, the pair, who were competing in their second Grand Slam together after reaching the third round at the Australian Open in February (l. to Arevalo/Middelkoop), could not close out from deuce while serving. Herbert and Mahut then dominated the tie-break to force the match into a decider.
From there, the experience of the French pair showed, as they saved both break points they faced before taking their opportunity to move 4-3 ahead in the decider. Herbert and Mahut, who dominated around the net during the contest, went on to close out the victory on serve for their 18th title together.