Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez made Saturday in Paris a day to remember for Spain as they beat American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the most successful doubles team in Grand Slam history, to win the French Open, their maiden slam.
Hours after compatriot Garbine Muguruza notched up her first slam title on the same Philippe Chatrier showcourt with a straight-sets defeat of defending champion Serena Williams, Lopez and Lopez took their first major too, going the full distance in winning 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
While the Bryan brothers were seeking their 17th Grand Slam title having won their first -- also in Paris -- in 2003, the Spaniards teamed up at the start of 2016 for the Australian Open. The Americans also won at Roland Garros in 2013.
More mobile than the faster-serving Americans and more inclined to chance their arm at the net, the Spanish pair -- who are not related -- took the first set after breaking Bob’s serve in the first game.
The Bryans bagged the second set on a tiebreak their opponents came within two points of winning, before Feliciano closed out the match in the third with a love service game.
“We won the match against the best in the world. You can’t expect anything better than that,” said Feliciano, who as a singles player enjoyed moderate success at the slams having reached the quarter-finals at both Wimbledon and US Open.
“There is no doubt that this is one of the most beautiful wins in my career. For the past 18 months I have been playing the doubles, and at that time I didn’t think that I would be in a position to win a Grand Slam so quickly.
“It’s quite unexpected. It’s a great reward.”