Paris (AP) – Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies stood arm in arm on the Center Court. The German sensational doubles had removed the mouth and nose protection after the trophy was handed over.
Completely overwhelmed by the repetition of their previous year’s coup at the French Open, the Franconian-Rhenish duo struggled with the emotional turbulence.
“If someone had told us that you would come back here and defend your title, I would have asked: How many beers did you have?” Said the 30-year-old Mies from Cologne in Paris when she played the final against US Open winner Mate Pavic (Croatia) and Bruno Soares (Brazil) won 6-3, 7-5.
After 1:29 hours, Mies and his two years younger double partner from Coburg used the second match ball after another impressive performance and plopped onto the red sand – not quite as synchronously as cockchafer on their backs as last year, but no less euphoric. “I am very happy to share the court with you,” said Krawietz during the moving awards ceremony, when the inferior veteran Soares also found words of appreciation for the new and old French Open champions. “Boys, well done,” said the 38-year-old. “Enjoy the moment, you are unbeaten here.”
A few hours after the title premiere of 19-year-old Polish Iga Swiatek, Krawietz and Mies actually managed to defend their title. Last year they had won the double title in Paris as the first German double since Gottfried von Cramm and Henner Henkel 82 years earlier. This year they were ranked eighth, but played an outstanding tournament from the first round. Swiatek had previously prevailed in the women’s final against the Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin from the USA.
Previously, only two German tennis professionals had more than one double title in Grand Slam tournaments: Claudia Kohde-Kilsch (1985 US Open, 1987 Wimbledon) and Philipp Petzschner (2010 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open).
“This place is magical,” said Mies. “It’s hard to believe right now, crazy what a moment.” Both also thanked the friends and family members who were unable to come due to the coronavirus pandemic this year. “We are going to the final with a lot of anticipation. We fondly remember last year and try to bring it back onto the pitch,” said Krawietz before the match. In the beginning they succeeded almost perfectly.
The Franconian won his first service game to zero, the German Davis Cup players managed a break to 3-1. After half an hour they decided the first sentence for themselves. In the second round, Mies survived three break chances against himself on his own serve, before the point was 2: 2. An even duel developed without loss of service – up to the eleventh game in the second set.
With a score of 5: 5, Pavic and Soares were leading 40: 0, but the Germans defended themselves, came up and secured the decisive point for 6: 5 with the second break ball during the Brazilian service. Mies hit the ground – and for a short time it became a nerve game. At the first match point Mies conceded a foot error, then they had to fend off two break balls. But after 89 minutes Soares hit the last backhand of the game into the net.