Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski win French Open mixed doubles title

Gabriela Dabrowski and Rohan Bopanna smile after winning the 2017 French Open mixed doubles title. (Getty Images).

While Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko recover and prepare for their singles match in the women’s 2017 French Open finals, a different duo is already celebrating.

Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski, the Indian-Canadian mixed doubles team, became French Open champions on Thursday when they defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in a three-set thriller. The win was particularly special for Dabrowski, as she became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam title with her victory.

Bopanna and Dabrowski were seeded seventh but did not drop a single set throughout the entire tournament until the final match against Groenefeld and Farah. The finals, however, presented more than just a challenge for Bopanna and Dabrowski. The dual also brought back memories for the Indian-Canadian team after they lost to the same pair at the US Open in the quarterfinals.

Groenefeld and Farah, the 2016 Wimbledon runners-up, came into the tournament unseeded, and the chemistry and strengths of the Bopanna and Dabrowski proved too much for their opponents to handle.

“I think that’s what makes a difference, when you play with partners regularly at slams, you get to understand each other,” Bopanna said. “I think that helped us also today coming through those close matches. You end up trusting your partner. You know what the strengths of your partner.”

Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Rohan Bopanna work to finish strong in their final match of the 2017 French Open against Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Robert Farah of Columbia. (Getty Images)

 

Groenefeld and Farah, from Germany and Colombia respectively, shot out to an early lead, taking the first set 2-6, but Bopanna and Dabrowski rallied. The pair won the next two sets 6-2 and 12-10 on a match tie-break to take home their first Grand Slam title together.

“Hopefully you’ve enjoyed that final, there were lots of efforts on both sides,” Dabrowski said.

Bopanna and Dabrowski started playing together last September, and on Thursday, they shared a moment symbolic on the challenging journey that they traveled to reach their ultimate dream.

“It’s very special, it’s something that you always dream about as a kid,” Dabrowski said. “It’s kind of funny because you never know where the journey is going to take you: singles, doubles, now mixed doubles. I couldn’t be more happy. It feels amazing.”

Bopanna also brought pride to his native country, becoming the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam. 

“It’s truly special. As an athlete, when you start playing tennis, you want to win a Grand Slam,” Bopanna said.