A day after losing the women's singles final to Serena Williams in a thrilling three-set match, Lucie Safarova finally has a Grand Slam title at the French Open after winning the women's doubles title on Sunday.
The left-hander from the Czech Republic teamed up with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands to clinch the doubles title with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win against Casey Dellacqua of Australia and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.
"I was a little bit sad, but it was exciting for me to be here in the final," Safarova said of her loss to Williams and her women's doubles victory. "I was very pumped to at least get one title out of those two. I'm really happy it happened."
Safarova put her disappointment aside and played a decisive role in the third game of the deciding set, when she fired two aces on break points. The pair then won two of three break points and did not lose a single game after that.
The Czech player served out the match to complete the win, their second successive Grand Slam together after winning the Australian Open in January.
After losing the first set, the Czech-American pair converted one out of five break points to gain the advantage in the second set. Safarova served out the set to level the match at one set apiece.
After the win, Safarova and Mattek-Sands fell into each other's arms and jumped up and down, with a delighted Mattek-Sands kissing Safarova several times on the cheek before they warmly congratulated their opponents at the net.
Both Safarova and Mattek-Sands, who only began playing together this year, said one of the reasons the chemistry between them developed so quickly is their excellent relationship off the court. "It makes a big difference," Mattek-Sands said. "I'm really grateful I have a great friend like Lucie to hang out with and talk with. As much as we joke around, we can be serious. It's really nice to have a friend like that."
Safarova and Mattek-Sands became only the seventh women's pair in the Open era to win both the Australian Open and Roland Garros the same year. And for the 30-year-old Mattek-Sands, it was a second trophy in Paris this week after she claimed the mixed doubles title with countryman Mike Bryan.
"I don't think either of us had a day off this whole French Open," she said. "The two days we might not have played matches we still warmed up or practiced. It's been a whirlwind. Really, to win it with Mike and then win it with Lucie after the Australian Open, it's been so much fun. We have had a lot of fun in the locker room."
Mattek-Sands was quick to praise the efforts of her doubles partner after the win. Safarova missed out on a Grand Slam double after losing the singles final to Serena Williams less than 24 hours before, late on Saturday afternoon, but was straight back on court at noon for the doubles final.
"You've played almost every single day," Mattek-Sands told Safarova. "You've done an amazing job." Mattek-Sands then marvelled at the trophy. Reading the list of winners out loud, she said "Gigi Fernandez won this like, 75 times in a row. Navratilova, too."