© Manuel Queimadelos/Mallorca Championships

Novak Djokovic and Carlos Gomez-Herrera celebrate their first match win at the Mallorca Championships.

Djokovic/Gomez-Herrera Win Mallorca Thriller To Reach QFs

Wild cards to next face top seeds Granollers/Zeballos

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic made his debut at the Mallorca Championships in doubles with good friend Carlos Gomez-Herrera of Spain, and the pair delighted fans with a thrilling victory on Tuesday.

The wild cards rallied from a set down and saved two match points in a nail biting Match Tie-break to take down Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic 5-7, 6-4, 13-11. 

“We had a lot of fun on the court, I must say,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview. “Xarly is a longtime friend my brother and I, we’ve known each other [for] almost 15 years. We’ve played only once together and we lost that only match. This one was very, very close, but it was an amazing experience.”

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Djokovic, who lives in Marbella, was playing in just his second doubles event of the year. At the ATP Cup in February, he partnered with today’s opponent Cacic against Germany (l. to Struff/Zverev). 

For 31-year-old Marbella native Gomez-Herrera, the victory on Spanish soil was twice as sweet. After saving two match points in a Match Tie-break that went down to the wire, a Djokovic passing shot winner helped clinch Gomez-Herrera’s first main draw victory in doubles.

“For me, it’s a privilege to play with him as a friend,” Gomez-Herrera said. “He’s always there backing me up, so just being next to him on court means a lot.”

They will next face top seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in the last eight, after the Mutua Madrid Open champions fought past Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely 6-2, 3-6, 12-10.

Elsewhere at the Mallorca Country Club, second seeds Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald needed two sets against Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop to advance, 6-3, 6-2. Andres Molteni and Andrea Vavassori also defeated Guido Pella and Joao Sousa 7-6(3), 7-6(6).

There was no doubles action on Tuesday at the Viking International Eastbourne after Monday’s washout and today’s early rain at Devonshire Park.