Roland Garros: Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig win mixed doubles title



by JOVICA ILIC

Roland Garros: Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig win mixed doubles title

Two years ago, Ivan Dodig had lost the Roland Garros mixed doubles final partnering Sania Mirza, dropping the match tie break 10-8 against Martina Hingis and Leander Paes, and they were also defeated in the final of the Australian Open last year to miss a chance of winning the Grand Slam title together.

Competing in the mixed doubles for the 12th time, Ivan found his lucky charm in the 28-year-old Latisha Chan from Taiwan who also won her first mixed doubles Grand Slam title in her 30th try, being the beaten finalist with Paul Hanley in Melbourne in 2011.

The pair has defeated the top seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic 6-1 6-7 10-8 in an hour and 31 minutes to become the first champions in Paris this year. Chan and Dodig won just six points more than their rivals despite that one-sided first set, and they converted four break points compared to only one break from Dabrowski and Pavic.

The match tie break was very interesting and the winning pair clinched it after a crucial mini-break in the 17th point, sealing the deal on own serve to start a title celebration. Mate Pavlic, the world's leading doubles player, got broken in the very first game of the match after a lob winner from Chan and the second seeds broke Dabrowski as well in game three to open up a 3-0 lead.

Serving at 4-1, Dodig fends off three break points on serve and he and Chan broke Dabrowski in game seven to close the opener 6-1 after a return winner from Ivan after just 26 minutes. Dabrowski got broken again in the eight game of the second set but Dodig hit a double fault while serving for the title in game nine to keep Mate and Gabriela in contention.

The set went into a tie break and Pavic and Dabrowski came back from 5-1 down to rattle off the last five points and claim the breaker 7-5 to set up a match tie break after a forehand drive volley error from Chan. Nothing could separate the rivals in the opening 16 points, with three mini-breaks on each side, and Pavic was the one who cracked under the pressure, hitting a double fault in the 17th point to let Dodig finish the match with a service winner in the following point. Final result:

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Roland Garros Gabriela Dabrowski Mate Pavic