Mahut/Herbert Reach Roland Garros Final
While Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut had reached the championship match at the three other Grand Slam tournaments, they had not enjoyed much success together at their home major – until this year.
The Frenchmen, who had bowed out in the Round of 16 in 2015-16 and in their 2017 opener, moved within one win of the Roland Garros title with their 6-3, 6-4 semi-final victory over No. 8 seed Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya on Thursday. Mektic and Peya had claimed the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title last month at the Mutua Madrid Open, and were attempting to reach their fourth final of the clay-court swing.
The sixth seeds now await the winner between No. 2 seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, the reigning Australian Open champions, and No. 12 seeds Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, the 2016 Roland Garros champions. Marach/Pavic and Lopez/Lopez face off in semi-final action Friday afternoon.
Herbert and Mahut will be looking to win their third Grand Slam title, following triumphs at the 2015 US Open and at Wimbledon in 2016. They were also runners-up at the 2015 Australian Open (l. to Bolelli/Fognini).
Only two other French tandems have won the Roland Garros men’s doubles crown in the Open Era: Henri Leconte and Yannick Noah in 1984 and Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 2014.
Mahut, 36, came close to winning the Roland Garros title in 2013 alongside countryman Michael Llodra. The pair lost a heartbreaker against top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, leading 4-2 in the decisive tie-break before the Bryans came back to win 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).