Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer captured their first Grand Slam title as a team Saturday, rallying past Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3 in the Roland Garros final.
In a hard-fought clash on Court Philippe Chatrier, Arevalo and Rojer produced a strong serving display and showed their fighting qualities. They saved three championship points on serve at 5-6 in the second set, before raising their level in the third set to seal victory after three hours and three minutes.
“I am really proud,” Rojer said during the trophy ceremony. “I know I am getting older and it makes these moments much more special because you don’t know how many more times you have left to play on such beautiful courts. I am extremely, extremely grateful.”
“I want to congratulate Ivan and Austin, this was an amazing battle,” Arevalo said. “You guys are amazing opponents… I feel we are super lucky to win the title today. I want to thank everyone inside the stadium, it was amazing. You guys made our moment precious. Thank you Roland Garros and Paris for this.”
Arevalo of El Salvador and Rojer of the Netherlands have now captured three tour-level titles as a team this season, having triumphed on hard in Dallas and Delray Beach in February. With their victory, they have improved to 24-10 as a team in 2022.
The 40-year-old Rojer is now the oldest Grand Slam men’s doubles champion in the Open Era. It is the third time he has captured a major title, after lifting trophies with Horia Tecau at Wimbledon in 2015 and the US Open in 2017.
“I really want to thank my partner,” Rojer added. “We spent a lot of time living and training in Miami. We decided to play together. I know this kid has a big heart. He showed it today and I thank him. I am glad he trusts me and I am so happy and proud of this moment here.”
Arevalo, 31, is the first Grand Slam men’s double champion from Central America. He has now clinched five tour-level doubles crowns.
In a tight final, both teams dominated behind serve in the first two sets, with opportunities on return limited. After Dodig and Krajicek won the first set, the unseeded tandem then conjured up three championship points on Arevalo and Rojer’s serve at 5-6 in the second set.
However, the 12th seeds saved all three championship points, before they won the tie-break to force a decider. Fuelled by momentum, Arevalo and Rojer gained the first break of the match to move 4-2 ahead in the third set, before they held serve to secure a memorable victory.
Dodig and Krajicek, who saved five match points en route to victory over Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the quarter-finals, were competing as a team for the fifth time this season. They arrived in the French capital in form, after winning the trophy in Lyon last month.