Japan's Miyu Kato and Germany's Tim Puetz captured the French Open 2023 mixed doubles crown on Thursday, defeating Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus 4-6, 6-4, [10-6] in the final.
Andreescu and Venus overcame a difficult start to win the first set after coming back from a breakdown. Kato and Puetz broke in the first game, increasing their lead to 4-2.
The second set went with the server, with limited possibilities to break. At 4-3, Andreescu and Venus had an opportunity to break, but the Canadian misfired on a return into the net, allowing Kato and Puetz to square the set at 4-4.
Andreecu and Venus's wasted opportunity would cost them dearly. In the second game, Kato and Puetz took a 15-40 lead and broke on the deciding point to take a 5-4 lead. Puetz saved two break points, and Kato scored two returns to win the set and force a tiebreak.
After Venus struck a double-fault down 4-3, Kato and Puetz created a 6-3 lead in the match tiebreak, and Kato followed with gutsy work at the net to extend the lead. The Japanese/German pair rode their momentum to victory, winning after a Venus forehand hit the net.
"It has been really challenging for me for the past few days. I want to thank all the players, coaches, everyone for their heartfelt messages of support," WTA.com quoted Kato as saying.
"They had a breakpoint at 4-3 to go up 5-3. With Mikey serving after, it would have been very tough to come back from that. We just hung in there, believed in ourselves, and did really well. Played a really good super-tiebreak in the end," Puetz said.
"I think I speak for both of us that we are really, really happy to be called Grand Slam champion," Puetz added. (ANI)