© SkiStar Swedish Open / Linda Carlsson

Philipp Petzschner and Julian Knowle win their first team title in Bastad.

Knowle/Petzschner Battle For Bastad Crown

Austrian-German duo claim first team title

Julian Knowle and Philipp Petzschner were warriors all week at the SkiStar Swedish Open and the Austrian-German tandem were rewarded with their first team title on Sunday.

Knowle and Petzschner defeated Dutch duo Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 on Centre Court in Bastad, notching their fourth straight victory in a Match Tie-break. They prevailed after 70 minutes, converting three of 14 break chances.

Competing as a team for the first time, the unseeded titlists split €26,110 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points. Both ended lengthy ATP World Tour title droughts, notching their first trophies since 2014.

"It was an amazing week," said Petzschner. "Coming in, Julian had won in Braunschweig and we just kept hanging in there. It's a lovely tournament and it's a great way to finish it. I wasn't even sure if I could play tennis again (after shoulder surgery), but now I have a title which feels great. Now we're undefeated so let's see what happens in the future."

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"We were fighting and hung in there," said Knowle about the four three-set wins. "We made life more difficult than it should have been, but there's no complaints when you win. I'm very happy to get the win."

It has been a resurgent year for the 43-year-old Knowle, who is coming off lifting the trophy at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Braunschweig two weeks ago, with Igor Zelenay. The 19-time ATP World Tour doubles champion captured a second title in Bastad, exactly 10 years removed from his first crown with Simon Aspelin in 2007.

For the 33-year-old Petzschner, it marked the seventh time he has lifted a tour-level doubles trophy and first with someone other than Jurgen Melzer. The German has enjoyed great success with Austrian partners, having also reached the final at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell this year with Alexander Peya.

Meanwhile, Arends and Middelkoop were competing in their first ATP World Tour event as a team. Middelkoop fell to 3-2 in tour-level finals, while Arends was contesting his first title match.