Photo: Susan MullaneNick Kyrgios and Andrew Harris (AUS)
The Russian and Australian flags were flying high at Roland Garros on Saturday as Daria Gavrilova and Irina Khromacheva won the girls’ doubles title and Andrew Harris and Nick Krygios joined forces to lift the boys’ doubles crown.
Second seeds Gavrilova and Khromacheva edged out Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay and Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia 46 64 108. It was the first grand slam doubles title for Gavrilova, the former US Open singles champion, while for Khromacheva it was her second doubles crown and revenge for her defeat in last year’s final in Paris.
“I have won a singles grand slam but it feels really different,” Gavrilova said. “I am actually more excited that we won because we shared it. I could only share my singles win with my parents and my coaches but now we won together and it’s much more fun to celebrate together.”
Khomacheva said they had made a late choice to play together in Paris. “We have known each other a long time and the most important thing is that we have a lot of fun together,” she said. “We’ve known each other already 12 years - we started when we were six. We didn’t play doubles together a lot but three or four weeks ago we played a $25,000 together and we won so we decided to play here and it was a good decision.”
Khromacheva said winning doubles was not quite the same as winning in singles but that there were plenty of positives both players could take forward. “Of course we’re disappointed in our singles but if it doesn’t go our way in singles we want to show that we can also play good tennis in doubles,” she said. “We can also use it to be better at singles next time.”
The boys’ final was equally tough as Harris and Krygios upset seventh seeds Adam Pavlasek and Vaclav Safranek 64 26 107 to win their first grand slam title.
“It feels really good,” said Harris, whose mother, Anne Minter, made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 1988 and was ranked in the world’s top 30. “We were lucky to get of our quarter-final, we were 9-6 down in the super tiebreak so we made the most of that luck and got the win, so we’re very happy.”
Krygios agreed their win was the highlight of their junior careers to date, saying: “We’ve been working pretty hard. We haven’t been playing doubles too long but it’s a very good experience and it would be great if we can carry it on to Wimbledon.
And Krygios said he thought Wimbledon was a good chance for them to double their grand slam tally. “I think the grass will be perfect for us,” he said. “We’re great returners, clutch under pressure and the grass helps our serve. We just need to stay tough and we should do well.”