ROLAND GARROS – With all the Canadians gone from singles following Bianca Andreescu’s third-round defeat Saturday, the remaining hopes are in women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
And so far, the Canadians have shown some serious competitive mettle.
Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Luisa Stefani, the No. 8 seeds, were down and almost out against Dalma Galfi and Katarzyna Pieter in the second round.
But it was almost like they refused to lose. They dug, they defended, they shrugged off lost points – and in the end, won it 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to advance.
Here’s what it looked like.
Andreescu’s Mixed Debut a Comeback Win
A little later, Bianca Andreescu made her mixed doubles debut, in the company of New Zealand’s Michael Venus (her coach Christophe Lambert was long the head of high performance for the New Zealand federation).
They looked ABSOLUTELY down and out in the first set – outplayed by the more experienced Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Kevin Krawietz.
Andreescu wasn’t doing much; Venus was making a lot of errors.
But somehow, they turned it around. Andreescu and Venus won it 2-6, 6-1, 10-8 in the match tiebreak.
On Sunday, they faced Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mate Pavic (who have some big titles between them) in the second round.
And again, they pulled off a tight one – 6-4, 4-6, and 10-8 in the match tiebreak to make the quarterfinals.
Second Comeback for Dabrowski
Later in the day, Dabrowski returned to the court for her first-round mixed doubles, her first match with American partner Nathaniel Lammons.
With Lammons’ ranking at No. 32, they are unseeded in the mixed, although the seeding is based upon individual doubles rankings and the “favorites” rarely win.
They came up against the French wild card team of Chloe Paquet and Lucas Pouille. That pair was resplendant in their matchy-matchy Le Coq Sportif kit.
But after taking the first set in a tiebreak, Paquet and Pouille watched Dabrowski and Lammons go to work.
They won 6-7 (3), 6-2, and 10-8 in a nervy final-set tiebreak after being pretty far down early on.
Dabrowski and Lammons caught a break Sunday. They were due to play Taylor Townsend and Jamie Murray, one of Open Court’s picks to win the whole thing.
But Townsend and Murray withdrew, giving Dabrowski and Lammons a free pass into the quarterfinals to join Andreescu and Venus.
Unlike the women’s doubles, any all-Canadian clash in the mixed couldn’t happen until the semifinals.
Dabrowski has won at Roland Garros in mixed before; in 2017, with Rohan Bopanna, she became the first Canadian ever to win a Grand Slam title of any kind, when they beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Montreal-born Robert Farah, 12-10 in the match tiebreak, to take the mixed.