Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and her Australian partner John Peers were eliminated in the semifinals of the French Open mixed doubles on Wednesday. After a relatively easy run since the start of the fortnight, the third-seeded duo fell 6-3, 6-4 to Japan’s Ena Shibahara and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands, the no. 2 seeds in the draw. 

The Canadian-Australian tandem started the match on the right foot, breaking their rivals early to take a 2-1 lead. However, Shibahara and Koolhof managed to turn the tables in the middle of the set to level the score at 3-3. A second break two games later put them in a good position to close out the set on their serve in the next game and they made the most of the opportunity.

In the second set, Shibahara and Koolhof were the first to strike the killer blow in the third game. They then jealously guarded their lead to seal the match after one hour and nine minutes and reach the final. Serves and returns made the difference throughout the match. Shibahara and Koolhof won 72% of their points on serve compared to 54 % for Dabrowski and Peers. They were also more effective on their opponents’ serves, winning 46 % of their return points compared to 28% for the third seeds.

The Canadian doubles specialist was attempting to reach her fifth Grand Slam mixed doubles final. Her impressive record includes mixed doubles trophies at the 2018 Australian Open (with Mate Pavic) and the 2017 French Open (with Rohan Bopanna). Alongside Pavic, she was also a finalist in Paris in 2018 and 2019.