Can Krawietz/Mies Repeat RG Fairytale?
Following their 6-3, 7-5 victory against Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies not only reached their second straight Roland Garros final, they also extended their unbeaten record at the event. Last year, the Germans won the title on their tournament debut to become the first all-German team in the Open Era to capture a Grand Slam men’s doubles trophy. They will enter their second final at the clay-court major championship on Saturday with an 11-0 tournament record.
“It is unreal. In our first Roland Garros last year we won it, we play our second Roland Garros [this year] and we are in the final again,” said Mies. “Yesterday, one physiotherapist [gave] me treatment and he told me, ‘You know what? You actually have a better record than Rafa here. You are the only guy unbeaten, with Kevin.’ I said, ‘Okay, that’s cool. But he has a 98-2 record and we have 11-0.’ I don’t know which one is better.”
Despite their run to the trophy last year, just six months ago Mies would not have been able to imagine where he stands today. During the Tour suspension, Mies spent time delivering fruit to at-risk communities through his association with the Special Olympics. Krawietz woke up at 5 a.m. to stack shelves at a local supermarket in Munich.
“If you would have told me six months ago that we would be back in the final, I wouldn’t believe you, probably,” said Mies. “We know how difficult it was to win the title here and now to eventually get the chance again to win another title is unbelievable in our second attempt here. We are really, really happy to have the chance on Saturday. We are looking forward to that and will give it our best shot again like last year.
“The past few months were rough, but we worked hard in the off-season, we had a long break and we did everything we could to come back strong. It didn’t work right away in the US. I wasn’t feeling comfortable on the court, but now I feel like I am back with my tennis and Kevin as well. We are super happy.”
In the first four events they played following the Tour suspension, Krawietz and Mies recorded four wins and four losses. But their games have peaked once more on the Parisian terre battue. Through five matches, the eighth seeds have dropped just one set and defeated two seeded teams.
“It is just so nice to come here, to play here,” said Mies. “We felt comfortable from the start. In our first practice here, we felt comfortable. We said, ‘Oh man, the courts are unbelievable compared to back home’. There are a lot of bad bounces [at home]. On the clay here, there are no bad bounces. It feels like we cannot miss a ball. It is something about this place.”
Krawietz and Mies are well aware that their unbeaten record will be under serious threat when they take to the court on Saturday. Across the net will be the most recent Grand Slam champions, US Open titlists Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares.
Pavic and Soares are chasing their third trophy from four team finals, after joining forces at the Fever-Tree Championships in June 2019. The Croatian-Brazilian team enter the final with a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record against Krawietz and Mies, following a Match Tie-break win in last year’s Western & Southern Open first round.
“It is definitely the biggest challenge we could possibly get in the final, because I think they are the hottest team right now on the Tour,” said Mies. “They won the US Open, they are in the final here, I don’t think there is a better team right now. They have a good chemistry, they play really well and they don’t have many weaknesses in their game.
“We watched some matches of theirs, we watched today a little bit before the match and it looked pretty smooth for them. They looked confident. We have to get a good game plan for Saturday, we have to analyse a little and find some good tactics like we did today… They are both good players, they are a great team, but we are also, so it is going to be a good match.”
If Krawietz and Mies can make it 12 wins from 12 Roland Garros matches on Saturday, they will not only lift their second Grand Slam trophy. The Germans will also become the first team since Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor in 2012 to win back-to-back titles at the event.
“Maybe if we win, we should retire so we [stay] unbeaten in Roland Garros… It is great to get another chance on Saturday and we will give it our best,” said Mies.