Rohan Bopanna becomes the fourth Indian player ever to win a Grand Slam crown after him and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski emerged victorious in the 2017 French Open mixed doubles finals with a 2-6 6-2 12-10 victory over the team of Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombia’s Robert Farah on Thursday. It was his second appearance in a Grand Slam final.
The German-Colombian pair started the match strong with a comfortable opening set win, which they wrapped up in just 21 minutes. However, the Indian-Canadian tandem came roaring back to win the second set by the same margin and ensured that the match would go the distance on the Philippe Chatrier court.
In the first set, Groenefeld and Farah broke Dabrowski to take a 2-1 advantage. Bopanna vied strongly and made a tough hold of his serve moments later. However, with the set at 2-4, Dabrowski was broken again and the unseeded pair of the German and Colombian easily claimed the first set after Groenefeld did well to hold her serve comfortably.
In the second set, it looked once again that the unseeded pair would cruise through when they jumped ahead after breaking Dabrowski. The Indo-Canadian duo returned the favor as they broke themselves to square it up at 2-2. They had two further breaks, one each on Farah and Groenefeld to take the second set in 27 minutes.
While the first two sets were fairly lopsided with one for each side, the third set of super tiebreaker was the most competitive and the most entertaining to watch. The Indo-Canadian tandem jumped to a quick 3-0 lead. But Groenefeld and Farah collected five points on the trot, which was assisted by double fault from their opponents – to take the lead at 5-3. Dabrowski and Bopanna once again took charge by reclaiming their lead by making it 6-5. Groenefeld and Farah failed to hold two match points 9-7 and it cost them as they could score further only one point while Bopanna and Dabrowski sealed the game at 12-10 by converting the match point in 66 minutes.
The seventh seeds Dabrowski and Bopanna were the unlikeliest of finalists as they managed to cause some upsets on their way to the summit clash with wins over second seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig and third seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively of the second Grand Slam of the year.
With his win, Bopanna became only the fourth Indian player to lift a Grand Slam trophy after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati and Sania Mirza. Dabrowski made history herself by becoming the first Canadian woman to claim a mixed doubles Grand Slam victory.