Japan's Miyu Kato and her German partner Tim Puetz claimed the French Open mixed doubles title Thursday by grinding out a 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 final win over Bianca Andreescu of Canada and Michael Venus of New Zealand.
Kato, whose default in her women's doubles third-round match for accidentally hitting a ball girl with a ball caused a wide-ranging stir that led to the Professional Tennis Players Association declaring it "unfair," ended her tournament on a high after coming from behind at Roland Garros' Court Philippe-Chatrier.
"It was tough mentally, but lots of warm messages supported me," said the 28-year-old Kato, who was cheered on by the Paris crowd. "I could gain positive power from them and that got me as far as today."
It was the second straight year a Japanese woman had won the French Open mixed doubles championship, after Ena Shibahara triumphed in 2022 with Dutchman Wesley Koolhof.
Kato and Puetz began the match with a break only to lose the first set, but got the second set's only break, in the ninth game, and held serve to force a tie-break.
In the decider, Kato and Puetz won five straight points to lead 8-3 en route to clinching victory in 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Kato and Puetz originally planned to enter with different partners and only teamed up two minutes before the deadline at the start of the tournament.
"I'm really happy," Kato said. "He (Puetz) really helped me and we won it together, as a team."
Kato read out a prepared statement to thank the audience after the match, when she also asked to have the prize money and world rankings' points she lost because of the default returned to her.
"I really want to thank everyone who has been supporting me," she said. "The default was unfortunate, but I could keep my head up and give it all I had."