ROLAND GARROS – It’s not singles, so it won’t get the same kind of attention.
But American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic – “Team Bucie” – can do something pretty impressive at Wimbledon in the next few weeks.
They are the current holders of the 2016 US Open, 2017 Australian Open and now the 2017 French Open titles after a 6-2, 6-1 victory over unseeded Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final Sunday.
If the pair can win Wimbledon, Mattek-Sands and Safarova would hold all four Grand Slam doubles titles simultaneously. It’s an accomplishment that came to be known as the “Serena Slam” after Williams did it in singles.
A year ago at this time, Novak Djokovic also held all four majors.
“When you walk out on Philippe Chatrier, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s a great stadium. Perfect day to play tennis today. We were ready. We were ready to go,” Mattek-Sands said after a surprisingly one-sided win over the Aussies, former Wimbledon finalists.
Mattek-Sands also had an excellent singles tournament in Paris. She got through the qualifying. And she played superb tennis in dispatching the returning Petra Kvitova before losing to Samantha Stosur in the third round.
But her thing remains doubles. With the victory, the pair jump over Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan to take a sizeable lead in the doubles race to the WTA Finals in Singapore. And Mattek-Sands (at No. 1) and Safarova (at No. 2) also carve out a sizeable lead in the individual rankings over the next two, Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
A first Wimbledon would complete set
Wimbledon is the one Grand Slam they’ve not yet won so if they pull that off, they would also hold career Slams.
A year ago, they drew each other in the first round of the singles main draw at the All-England Club. Safarova won – barely, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 7-5. But they lost in the first round of the women’s doubles to Daria Gavrilova and Daria Kasatkina. Team Bucie got to the quarter-finals in 2015.
Mattek-Sands reached the doubles semifinal in 2010 with Liezel Huber. Safarova has had some great results in singles at the All-England Club, but never in doubles.
It’ll be an interesting storyline to follow in a few weeks.