June 22, 2021

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Top men’s doubles team out because of positive COVID tests

ROLAND GARROS – A week or so after most of the players arrived in Paris, they still weren’t past the point of being out of the woods in terms of COVID.

Open Court has been told a positive test Tuesday night meant the top doubles team of Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic is out of Roland Garros.

The Croats were the No. 1 seeds in the men’s draw.

It was unclear whether one or both had tested positive. Or if one was simply a close contact (but had to quarantine regardless).

But a member of their management team confirmed Wednesday that both had tested positive. But that no one else in their support team had been affected.

It also meant that Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski, who reached the Roland Garros mixed doubles final with Pavic in 2018 and 2019, had to scramble at the last minute to find another partner.

In the end, Dabrowski will play with Aussie Luke Saville. They face the potentially very tough pickup team of Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev in the first round.

An alternate team will take Pavic and Mektic’s place in the doubles, to play Pablo Andujar and Pedro Martinez.

That alternate team originally was to have been Jaume Munar and Feliciano Lopez. They were listed on the original order of play for Thursday, but are now out.

2021 Roland Garros Mixed Doubles Draw

[1] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) / Filip Polasek (SVK)
[WC] Alizé Cornet / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) / Jamie Murray (GR)
Giuliana Olmos (MEX) / Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)

[4] Xu Yifan (CHN) / Bruno Soares (BRA)
Desirae Krawczyk (USA) / Joe Salisbury (GBR
Darija Jurak (CRO) / Robert Farah (COL)
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) / Jürgen Melzer (AUT)

Alexa Guarachi (CHI) / Neal Skupski (GBR)
Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) / John Peers (AUS)
Latisha Chan (TPE) / Ivan Dodig (CRO)
[3] Demi Schuurs / Wesley Koolhof (NED)

Elena Vesnina / Aslan Karatsev (RUS)
Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) / Luke Saville (AUS)
[WC] Caroline Garcia / Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
[2] Nicole Melichar / Rajeev Ram (USA)

It’s a shame, for example, that Félix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu – both shocked in the first round of singles – didn’t pre-emptively enter thinking ahead to the Olympics in Tokyo.

But that’s how it goes.

There was no mixed doubles during the fall 2020 edition of Roland Garros. And this year’s event is only 16 teams. So it was extremely hard to make the cut.

Tough blow for the Croats

Pavic and Mektic, who teamed up with what likely was the express purpose of winning gold in Tokyo, have absolutely been ripping it up in 2021.

They started off the season winning Antalya and then Melbourne 2, right before the Australian Open.

They reached the Australian Open final, losing to Dodig and Polasek. And then they immediately turned around and won Rotterdam indoors.

Then, they reached the final in Dubai – and won Miami.

The clay-court season didn’t slow them down a bit. Pavic and Mektic won Monte Carlo, reached the final of Madrid, and won Rome.

Pavic took over the No. 1 spot in the rankings after Miami.