No.10 seeds Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend needed just 64 minutes to book their place in a first Grand Slam final together, defeating No.2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-0, 6-4 at Roland Garros.
Townsend advances to her second major final, having been runner-up alongside Caty McNally at last year’s US Open to Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. For Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up in singles, the result marks her first Grand Slam final in doubles. They will face either No.6 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez or the unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu for the title.
French Open: Scores | Order of play | Draw
The Canadian-American duo first teamed up at Indian Wells in March, and their record together now stands at 14-4. The defeat of Gauff and Pegula reverses the result of the Miami final, which the all-American team won 7-6(6), 6-2. Townsend also exacted a measure of revenge for last year’s Roland Garros semifinals, which — partnering Madison Keys — she lost 6-4, 7-6(4) to Gauff and Pegula.
French Open semifinals
Keys to the match: Fernandez and Townsend excelled in every part of the court throughout the contest. Townsend in particular drew gasps repeatedly as she held her ground in the forecourt, repelling her opponents’ attacks with astonishing reflexes. Fernandez, for her part, proved expert at powering through Gauff and Pegula from the baseline, threading the needle with a number of superb passes.
Fernandez and Townsend were also sharp in exploiting the opposing team’s weaknesses. Clever dipping shots elicited a string of volley errors from Pegula, while Fernandez went toe-to-toe with Gauff in a number of baseline exchanges that targeted the 19-year-old’s forehand.
Consecutive Gauff forehand errors ended a first-set whitewash after just 24 minutes. Though Gauff and Pegula got on the scoreboard with a series of efficient holds in the second set, they were unable to break through on their opponents’ serve. Townsend’s delivery was impregnable; the 27-year-old conceded only three points behind it in the entire match. Fernandez was more vulnerable, but she was clutch in saving all six break points she faced.
Serving to stay in the match, Gauff committed a string of errors — a forehand long, a netted volley and a double fault. Having been handed three match points, Townsend nailed an emphatic smash to convert the third.