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Japanese pair falls in French Open women's doubles final

Kyodo

Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya fell short in their bid to become the first all-Japanese pair to win a Grand Slam women’s doubles title on Sunday, losing the French Open final in straight sets to the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

The sixth-seeded Czech pair needed just 1 hour and 5 minutes to wrap up the 6-3, 6-3 victory over their unseeded opponents on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at Roland Garros.

The Japanese duo had also been aiming to become the first all-Japanese Grand Slam doubles winners since 1955, when Kosei Kamo and Atsushi Miyagi accomplished the feat by winning the men’s doubles crown at the U.S. National Championships, now the U.S. Open.

Hozumi and Ninomiya became the first all-Japanese women’s pair to reach a Grand Slam decider with a straight-sets semifinal victory over Chan Hao-ching of Taiwan and Yang Zhaoxuan of China.

The path to the final for the 24-year-olds also included a 7-6(7-4), 6-3 win over the No. 1 seeded pair Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France in the quarterfinals.

Hozumi reached the Australian Open women’s doubles semifinals last year alongside compatriot Miyu Kato, while Ninomiya and partner Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic made it to the semis at Wimbledon.