Ashleigh Barty (L) and Casey Dellacqua (2L) lost in straight sets to Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Roland Garros. (AP: David Vincent)
Australian pair Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua have fallen short in their bid for a French Open title, losing the women’s doubles final in straight sets at Roland Garros on Sunday night.
Barty and Dellacqua were beaten 6-2, 6-1 by top seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova, who also won the 2016 US Open and the Australian Open earlier this year and are one grand slam away from holding all four majors at the same time.
The Australian duo, who were bidding for their first grand slam title together, struggled for the majority of the hour-long contest after their serve was broken three times in each set.
Mattek-Sands, however, praised her opponents, who had dropped just one set on their way to the final.
“You guys have done a great job and you’re an awesome team,” the 32-year-old said.
“I’m sure we’re gonna be facing you again soon.”
The Australian pair reached three grand slam finals together in 2013 without taking home the trophy and were unable to end their long wait in Paris, while Dellacqua’s overall record in women’s doubles finals is 0-7.
They had extended their clay court winning streak to nine matches with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 semi-final victory over Czech sixth seeds Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova to become the first all-Australian women’s pairing to make the title match at Roland Garros in 46 years.
But despite getting 72 per cent of their first serves in — compared to just 39 per cent for Mattek-Sands and Safarova, who had beaten Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan in the last four — they had their serve broken six times on the way to a loss in one hour seven minutes.
The pair were the first Australians to make the women’s doubles final since 1971, and had been aiming to emulate Margaret Court and Judy Tegart, who were the last Australians to win the women’s doubles final at the French Open back in 1966.