Arevalo/Rojer, Dodig/Krajicek Advance To Roland Garros Doubles Final
Two gripping men’s doubles semi-finals were decided late in their final sets Thursday at Roland Garros, with 12th seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer and the unseeded duo of Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek advancing to Saturday's title match with a pair of comeback victories.
With both semi-finals played on Court Simonne Mathieu, Arevalo/Rojer defeated 16th seeds Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(10-8), before Dodig/Krajicek downed fourth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5.
The 40-year-old Rojer is now the oldest Roland Garros men’s doubles finalist in the Open Era. Arevalo, who was playing in his first men's doubles Slam semi-final, is the first major men’s doubles finalist from Central America.
Their match against Bopanna/Middelkoop featured just two breaks of serve — one to decide each of the first two sets. Arevalo/Rojer never trailed in the 10-point tie-break and held leads of 7/3 and 9/6 before clinching their final place on their third match point.
"We started our partnership this year at the beginning of the year, and we have [been] building each other [up] as a team," Rojer said in a post-match press conference. "We have a great team behind our backs, as well. The whole job that we have been doing is paying off. We are super happy to be in the final, but we know that [there is] still a lot of work to do.
"We are going to go fight on Saturday in the final."
Their semi-final win improved the pair to 23-11 as a team, including a 10-match win streak in February that included titles in Dallas and Delray Beach and a final run in Acapulco. Rojer, who was competing in his ninth major semi-final, is through to his third final. He is undefeated in those title matches, winning the 2015 Wimbledon and 2017 US Open titles with Horia Tecau.
How it feels to be in your first #RolandGarros men's doubles final 🧡@CheloArevaloATP & Jean-Julien Rojer pull off a comeback win over Bopanna/Middelkoop 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8).#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/SFfKpijBuc— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 2, 2022
Dodig/Krajicek dropped serve twice in the opening set but were not broken again until a dramatic and eventful close to the final set. The Croatian-American team broke early in the third and had a pair of match points on return at 5-3.
They could not convert those chances, and then failed to serve out the match at the first time of asking at 5-4. But they claimed their third break chance of the ensuing game and made no mistake on their second chance at serving for a spot in the final.
The unseeded pair will bring a nine-match win streak into the championship match, dating back to their Lyon title run. The closest they came to defeat during that run was in the Roland Garros quarter-finals, when they saved five match points to defeat top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury. 3-6, 7-6(9), 7-6(12-10).
"We started playing very good in Lyon and we're just getting better every day," Krajicek said in press. "Hopefully we can stay on that path. Our game styles match very well and we get along great, so it's been a great partnership."
Dodig and Krajicek are 12-4 overall as a team, including 9-3 on the season. Dodig is a two-time Grand Slam champion (2015 Roland Garros with Marcelo Melo, 2021 Australian Open with Filip Polasek), while Krajicek is through to his first major final.
What a moment @DodigTennis and @AustinKrajicek defeat Granollers/Zeballos 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 to reach the men’s doubles final, their first Slam title match as a team#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/oW5xOlSFE1— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 2, 2022