Shibahara, Koolhof win French Open mixed title


Ena Shibahara and Wesley Koolhof won the French Open mixed doubles title on Thursday after only meeting for the first time on the eve of Roland Garros thanks to a social media message.

The second-seeded pair defeated unseeded Ul-rikke Eikeri of Norway and Belgium’s Joran Vliegen 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 on the back of 26 winners for their first Grand Slam trophy.

Koolhof revealed that he and Shibahara only agreed to play together after he had reached out to her on Instagram.

“Took her a while to respond back!” said the Dutch player. “But she said yes and she was looking forward to playing. So we actually never met before, I just saw her a few times playing at the Slams and the Masters, so I knew what kind of game she had and thought it would suit me very well.

“So that’s why I asked her and very happy she said yes. So, yeah, and this is the crazy result in the end.”Rika Hiraki was the last Japanese woman to take the Paris mixed title with India’s Mahesh Bhu-pathi in 1997.—APP