Lopez/Lopez Down Bryan/Bryan For Maiden Slam Title
Spaniards win Roland Garros
Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez became the first all-Spanish team since Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez (1990) to win the Roland Garros doubles title after downing Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 on Saturday. It was Lopez/Lopez’s first Grand Slam title, while the Bryans were denied a record 17th crown.
“We have never experienced these moments, winning a Grand Slam is something amazing, “Marc Lopez said. “I didn't think that I could be in a position to win the French Open. Roland Garros is my favourite tournament. It had been the case for quite a long time. When I was a kid, I was watching the matches of the great Spanish champions. I'm delighted to have won this match with Feliciano Lopez. I can't ask for more.”
“There is no doubt that this is one of the most beautiful wins in my career,” Feliciano Lopez said. “For the past 18 months I have been playing doubles and I didn't think that I would be in a position to win a Grand Slam so quickly.
“It's quite unexpected. It's a great reward, because I have made lots of efforts. I think that our level was quite high. This is what I told my partner. The Bryan brothers are the best doubles team in the world, but we managed to win and that's great.”
Lopez/Lopez played to their strengths in the opening set, using an unorthodox one-up, one-back formation to keep the Bryans off-balance. The Americans were unable to find solutions against Feliciano’s reflexes at net and Marc’s ability to change directions with his forehand. The Spaniards broke on their fifth chance in a long opening game, then held the fort to earn the early lead.
The Bryans increased their level in the second set, holding serve with ease and holding set points while returning at 5/4 and at 6/5. Maintaining their composure, Lopez/Lopez battled to hold and to force a tie-break. The fifth seeds saved a championship point at 5/6 before drawing even.
Returners had the edge in the deciding set, as the match went against serve for three consecutive games. The Spaniards scored two of those breaks and closed out the win in two hours and 30 minutes.
Lopez/Lopez, the No. 15 seeds, had an eventful journey to the final. They upset top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut in the third round, saved six match points versus Julien Benneteau/Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the quarter-finals and beat defending champions Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo 7-5 in the deciding set in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Bryan/Bryan had only dropped one set (third round vs. Stepanek/Zimonjic) coming into Saturday.
The Bryans were aiming to become the first team in the Open Era to win three Roland Garros men’s doubles title. They have three tour-level titles in 2016 and a record 112 overall.
Lopez/Lopez were making their second appearance together at a Grand Slam event. They fell in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open to Marco Cecchinato/Andreas Seppi. The Spaniards will share €500,000 and 2000 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points. Bryan/Bryan received €250,000 and 1200 points.