French Open: Gauff-Siniakova clinch women's doubles title

Caption : Photo Credit: Roland Garros (IANS)

Paris, June 9 (IANS) Last-minute pair, Coco Gauff and Katerina Siniakova clinched the French Open doubles title here on Sunday, overcoming Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini in a gripping final. The American-Czech registered a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory, marking Gauff's first Grand Slam doubles title and Siniakova's eighth.

Seeded no. 5 in the draw, Gauff and Siniakova only paired up for the French Open due to injuries sidelining their expected partners. Gauff was originally set to play with Jessica Pegula, who missed the entire clay-court season due to injury. Meanwhile, Siniakova's usual partners, Australia's Storm Hunter and Taylor Townsend, were also out with injuries. Hunter ruptured her Achilles at the Billie Jean King Cup in April, and Townsend injured her ankle in Rabat just before the French Open.

Townsend, recovering from her injury, played a pivotal role in facilitating the last-minute partnership between Gauff and Siniakova. "Really, I was trying to find an American to play with because Jessie pulled out, and obviously the Olympics are going to be here," Gauff explained earlier in the tournament. "My whole plan at the start of the year was to try to play with somebody I could potentially play with at the Olympics."

When Townsend suggested Siniakova as a partner, Gauff agreed, recognizing Siniakova's impressive track record in doubles. "I was, like, 'Yeah, I'll do it.' Obviously, she's won multiple Slams in this sport, and we could have a good chance." That chance turned into a remarkable championship run.

Throughout the tournament, Gauff and Siniakova displayed exceptional teamwork and tenacity, losing just one set -- the first in their semifinal match against Caroline Dolehide and Desirae Krawczyk. They battled back to win that match 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

The final against Errani and Paolini was no less dramatic. In a 1 hour and 47-minute battle, Gauff and Siniakova twice led by a break in the first set but found themselves on the brink of losing it at 5-4, 30-30. They also trailed 5-3 in the tiebreak. However, their resolve saw them through as they clinched the tiebreak 7-5 and went on to dominate the second set.

Gauff's serve proved unbreakable in the match, which featured nine breaks of serve overall. Paolini, who was playing her second final in as many days after finishing runner-up to Iga Swiatek in singles, was also seeking her first Grand Slam doubles title. Her partner, Errani, a five-time major champion, had previously reached the Roland Garros final three years in a row from 2012-2014 with Roberta Vinci.