In mixed doubles, Britain’s Joe Salisbury wins the French Open.


In mixed doubles, Britain’s Joe Salisbury wins the French Open.

With victory in the mixed doubles partnered American Desirae Krawczyk, Joe Salisbury became the first British Open champion in one of the major draws in 39 years.

Salisbury felt a little ashamed to be in the final after he and Krawczyk were handed a walkover in the previous four, but they earned it by defeating Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karastev of Russia 2-6 6-4 10-5.

Salisbury has now won two grand slam titles, following in the footsteps of John Lloyd, who won the mixed doubles trophy with Australian Wendy Turnbull in 1982.

Salisbury won the Australian Open men’s doubles gold with another American, Rajeev Ram, last year, and this is Krawczyk’s first grand slam triumph.

In the first set, Vesnina and Karatsev were clearly the better team, but Salisbury and Krawczyk stayed up with their opponents in the second and then took advantage when Karatsev went off the boil.

Salisbury and Krawczyk sat down in their chairs, believing they had served an ace to secure the match, only to be sent back onto the court by umpire Carlos Ramos, who had ruled the British player’s serve was out.

Salisbury fought the Portuguese official vigorously, and when play resumed, he soon served a double fault, but he held his composure to clinch a third set point.

In the tie-break, Salisbury and Krawcyzk kept their momentum going, earning their first match point when Karatsev sent a return wide.

Salisbury and Krawcyzk were taken aback, and the Londoner addressed his companion, saying, “This has been a great week for us, and I don’t think we expected this, but it’s been so much joy playing with you, and thank you for carrying me.”


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