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Coco Gauff wins her first Grand Slam doubles title at the French Open



Coco Gauff (L) and Siniakova of Czech Republic pose with the trophy after winning the women s doubles final on Sunday (AP)

Coco Gauff won her first Grand Slam doubles title by teaming with Katerina Siniakova for the French Open trophy on Sunday.

Gauff, a 20-year-old American who won the U.S. Open singles title last year, and Siniakova, who is from the Czech Republic, defeated Italians Jasmine Paolini and Sara Errani 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

It was Gauff’s third women’s doubles final after losing championship matches at Roland Garros in 2022 and the U.S. Open in 2021.

Gauff and Siniakova both kissed the Coupe Simonne Mathieu — the winners’ trophy.

“Third time’s a charm. Thank you, Katerina, for playing with me. We decided two days before the tournament to play together,” Gauff said. “Thank you to the fans. I know 11:30 Sunday morning is early for most people. It’s early for me.”


Paolini was also the runner-up in the singles final at Roland Garros to four-time champion Iga Swiatek on Saturday. Swiatek beat Gauff in the singles semifinal.

“The last two weeks were very nice, very emotional,” Paolini said. “I have a lot of memories. I can’t wait to be back.”

Siniakova owns a career Slam in women’s doubles alongside partner Barbora Krejcikova and has won eight majors — including the French Open in 2018 and 2021.

Errani also owns a career Slam in doubles alongside her former partner Roberta Vinci. The Italian pair won the French Open title in 2012 — the year Errani lost the singles final.

“It’s really special to be in this court again. I don’t know how many more years I have to play. But it’s always special to play these kinds of matches,” the 37-year-old Errani said. “It will be special to play the Olympics here in this place. So I’ll see you in one month.”


Paolini was playing in her first final in women’s doubles.

Errani’s serve was broken twice in the first set, and Paolini stayed on the baseline to compensate in the 11th game. The tactic worked as Errani held serve.

Gauff and Siniakova took the first set when Errani’s volley at the net went long and raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set, with Paolini 0-30 down on her serve.

The Italians fought back to 4-3 with a service game to follow, but Errani’s serve was broken again and their momentum was lost.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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French Open toughest to win, making Paris record more special, Djokovic says



Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 11, 2023 Serbia's Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy after winning the French Open REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Novak Djokovic said winning a record 23rd men’s singles Grand Slam title at the French Open after beating Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-6(1) 6-3 7-5 on Sunday was special given that it was always his toughest one to win.

The Serbian has now won the most Grand Slams of any male player and is the only one to have won each of the four – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open – at least three times.

But of the 23 Grand Slams, only three have come at the French Open with rival Rafael Nadal, who has 22 majors, dominating on clay with 14 wins in Paris.

Djokovic has also won ten times in Australia and three times at the U.S. Open while triumphing seven times at Wimbledon.

“It is no coincidence that I won the 23rd Grand Slam here in Paris because this tournament was really in my entire career the toughest to win,” Djokovic, who has played in the Paris final seven times, said to a cheering crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier.


“A lot of emotions here on this court, also off the court,” he said, after lifting the trophy aloft.

“Thanks one more time for a special atmosphere, a marvellous one. I am very happy to share this special moment of my career with you in this special stadium.”

The 36-year-old won the title without Nadal in the tournament, with the Spaniard missing the Grand Slam due to an injury and surgery that will sideline him for the rest of the year.

Djokovic, who also eclipsed Nadal as the oldest champion in Paris after a tough fortnight, has now won 21 consecutive Grand Slam tournament matches.

He won last year’s Wimbledon, missed the U.S. Open and won in Australia in January before Sunday’s triumph in Paris.


“I am being fortunate in my life to win 23 Grand Slams. It is an incredible feeling,” he said.

“Whatever you are pursuing, tennis or anything else, I was a seven-year-old dreaming I would win Wimbledon and become No. 1 one day.

“One thing is for sure I felt I had the power to create my own destiny. I felt it with every cell in my body.”Djokovic can now extend his lead in Grand Slam victories with the season moving over to grass and Wimbledon, where he will bid for an eighth title


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French Open: Doubles pair disqualified after ball girl is hit



Japan’s Miyu Kato and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified from the French Open after Kato struck a ball down the court between points, hitting a ball girl, during their women’s doubles third-round match on Sunday.

Umpire Alexandre Juge gave Kato a warning before Czech Marie Bouzkova and Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, on the other side of the net, asked for their opponents to be disqualified.

“No, no, let me explain to you. She (Kato) didn’t do it on purpose, she (the ball girl) didn’t get injured,” Juge said.

“She didn’t do it on purpose? She’s crying,” Sorribes Tormo said.

“And she has blood,” Bouzkova added, prompting the umpire to go to see the ball girl, who was sobbing.


After speaking to the girl, the umpire went back up to his chair and announced the end of the match with the disqualification of Kato and Sutjiadi.

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo were leading 7-6(1) 1-3 at the time.


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Factbox: Profile of Rafa Nadal who will miss the French Open



Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 18, 2023 Spain's Rafael Nadal looks dejected after losing his second round match against Mackenzie Mcdonald of the U.S. REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo

 Factbox on Spain’s 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafa Nadal, who will miss the French Open for the first time since his 2005 debut at the claycourt major due to injury.

Age: 36

Country: Spain

ATP ranking: 14 (Highest ranking: 1)

Grand Slam titles – 22


* Australian Open (2009, 2022)

* French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022)

* Wimbledon (2008, 2010)

* U.S. Open (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

French Open record


* Nadal made his debut at the French Open in 2005 and has a 112-3 win-loss record at Roland Garros.

* He was knocked out in the fourth round in 2009 by Robin Soderling, while he lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals and 2021 semi-finals.

* In 2016, Nadal withdrew before his third round match due to a wrist injury.


– Born in Manacor, Spain to Sebastian Nadal and Ana Maria Parera.

– His uncle Miguel Angel Nadal was a former soccer player who represented Barcelona, RCD Mallorca and Spain.


– Introduced to tennis by another uncle, Toni, who encouraged his naturally right-handed nephew to play left-handed as it would give him an advantage.

– Turned professional in 2001 and won the junior Davis Cup with Spain in 2002. Won the ATP newcomer of the year in 2003.


– Won his first ATP singles title in Poland in 2004.

– Defeated world number two Andy Roddick to guide Spain to the Davis Cup title in 2004. Won the tournament again in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019.

– Won the French Open on debut in 2005 and a year later beat Roger Federer in the final.


– In 2007, he became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a hat-trick of Roland Garros titles.

– Won his first Wimbledon title in 2008 with a five-set victory over Roger Federer, a match dubbed the ‘the greatest tennis match in history’.

– Won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in singles. Clinched doubles gold with Marc Lopez at the 2016 Rio Games.

– Suffered his first French Open loss in 2009 to Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the fourth round.

– Regained the title the following year, beating Soderling in the final. Also won Wimbledon for a second time in 2010 before claiming his first U.S. Open title, becoming the seventh man to win all four Grand Slams.


– Matched Borg’s record of six French Open titles with his 2011 victory and overtook the Swede in 2012.

– Became the first man with eight titles at the same Grand Slam when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the 2013 final at Roland Garros. He also won the U.S. Open that year.

– Became the first man to win five successive French Open titles in 2014.

– Won his second Grand Slam of 2017 at Flushing Meadows after a 10th French Open title in June.

– Claimed an 11th French Open title and his 17th major with victory over Dominic Thiem in 2018.


– Defeated Thiem again in the 2019 final to seal his 12th Roland Garros title. He also won a fourth U.S. Open crown by beating Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final.

– Matched Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles by defeating Djokovic in the French Open final in 2020.

– Got his 1,000th victory on the ATP Tour at the 2020 Paris Masters, becoming the fourth man in the professional era to achieve it.

– Suffered only his third-ever loss at Roland Garros in 2021 when he was beaten by Djokovic in the semi-finals.

– Missed chunks of the 2021 season, including Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open, due to a long-standing foot injury.


– Defeated Medvedev in the 2022 Australian Open final to win a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title.

– Beat Norway’s Ruud to extend his record with his 22nd Grand Slam title and 14th French Open crown.

– Knocked out of the Wimbledon semi-finals and U.S. Open last-16 in 2022.

– In 2023, he fails to successfully defend his Australian Open crown where Djokovic triumphed and tied his record for 22 Grand Slam titles.

– Announces on Thursday that he will miss this year’s French Open after failing to regain full fitness from a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open in January,



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