Tennis

Hradecka, Cermak win French Open

Frantisek Cermak & Lucie Hradecka
Frantisek Cermak and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic hold their trophy.
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PARIS (AP)

Five years after they first teamed up, Frantisek Cermak and Lucie Hradecka won their first title together on Thursday.

The French Open mixed doubles.

The Czechs beat Daniel Nestor of Canada and Kristina Mladenovic of France 1-6, 6-4, 10-6 in the final.

''I'm happy that we did it,'' Hradecka said. ''It's really nice to be here in Roland Garros and stay on court on Chatrier and have a title.''

Their very first match, at 2008 Wimbledon, was a loss, and they endured a bumpy road, though they reached the final at the Australian Open in January.

''We didn't start well,'' Cermak said with a laugh. ''We're improving.''

It was the first Grand Slam title for Cermak and the second for Hradecka, who also won the women's doubles at Roland Garros with Andrea Hlavackova in 2011. Hradecka still has a shot in the women's doubles as she and Hlavackova will play their semifinal on Friday.

Nestor and Mladenovic, together for the first time, raced through the first set, the ninth straight set they won. But the Czechs broke Nestor in the opening game of the second, and rallied from 0-40 while serving for the set to even the match on a backhand volley from Hradecka.

In the super tiebreaker, the Czechs won four straight points to lead 9-5, and clinched victory when Mladenovic netted a backhand volley, becoming the first Czechs to win the mixed doubles since 1991, when Helena Sukova and Cyril Suk triumphed.

Mladenovic, who at 20 was half Nestor's age, won the junior girls title here in 2009. Nestor, who has 80 doubles titles including eight Grand Slams, pledged afterwards to play with Mladenovic at Wimbledon.

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