PARIS — Once again, Nicolas Mahut fell on his back on the red clay of Roland Garros.
This time it was to celebrate a joyful moment, and not because his doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert knocked him down the way he did two days ago at the French Open.
Having recovered well from the incident, Mahut captured the French Open title with Herbert on Saturday by defeating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the final.
During Thursday's semifinals, Mahut was accidentally hit in the left temple by a ball from Herbert. Mahut left the court for a little while to recover, and managed to advance to the final with his fellow Frenchman.
"You can't imagine how happy I am," said Mahut, who lost in the final five years ago to the Bryan brothers when playing with Michael Llodra. "Five years ago it was so difficult I could not talk, I did not know if I would get another chance."
With their Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah in the stands, Herbert and Mahut claimed their third Grand Slam title after saving six of seven break points.
As the only local players to win a title, their victory was celebrated by French Open spectators, who rendered France's national anthem, La Marseillaise, a cappella.
Mahut and Herbert, who also won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon together, became just the third all-French team in the Open era to win Roland Garros.
Marach and Pavic, an Austria-Croatia combination, were trying to win their second Grand Slam title of the season after claiming their first major title at the Australian Open.