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Russians claim women's doubles

PARIS -- Fourth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina
of Russia won their first Grand Slam title together by defeating
defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy 7-5, 6-2
in the women's doubles final of the French Open on Sunday.

It was the first major title for Vesnina but the second for
Makarova, who won the mixed doubles with Bruno Soares at the U.S.
Open last year.

The top-seeded Errani and Vinci were bidding to win a third
straight Grand Slam title and their fourth overall. They had beaten
Makarova and Vesnina in their four previous meetings.

"We really wanted to beat them finally, because it's really
difficult to play against the same team and [be] losing all the
time," Vesnina said. "We were not thinking it was a final or a
Grand Slam, we were just thinking that we have to beat them."

Indeed, it didn't feel like the final of a major with just a
couple of hundred spectators in the stands on Court Philippe
Chatrier.

Vesnina had previously lost all her Grand Slam finals -- three in
women's doubles and three in mixed doubles. Her run of bad luck
seemed to continue in the fifth game of the first set when Makarova
hit a crosscourt backhand into Vesnina's back.

"She hit pretty hard," Vesnina said. "You know, this
tournament she hit me twice already. I have [one] in my head and
one in my back."

Vesnina winced in pain while Makarova looked embarrassed. But
the Russians quickly got over it by exchanging a high-five.

Against a resilient Italian team that broke back three times in
the first set, Vesnina took Vinci's serve at 5-5 by hitting a
backhand return winner.

The Russians won four straight games in the second set to lead
4-1 and clinched the victory with a smash from Vesnina.

Makarova leaped around at the end of the match while Vesnina
fell to her knees. They won the tournament without dropping a set
in six matches.