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Tim Puetz and Michael Venus celebrating their victory in Dubai on Saturday.

Puetz/Venus Save 3 MPs, Pip Mektic/Pavic To Dubai Crown

German-New Zealand pairing clinch first title of 2022

Tim Puetz and Michael Venus are the Match Tie-break kings of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The fourth seeds completed a full week of final-set victories on Saturday to win the ATP 500 event and they saved the best until last, saving three match points before securing a dramatic 6-3, 6-7(5), 16-14 win over top-ranked Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

“It was good, a pretty special week,” said Puetz at the trophy presentation. “Congrats to Mate and Nikola, a great week, a great match today. I thought it was pretty high quality. Everybody deserved to win, sorry it had to be us in the end."

Puetz and Venus had recovered from dropping the first set in all three of their matches on the way to the final, but they converted the only break point of the opener to take control early in the championship match.

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Top-seeded Mektic and Pavic were runners-up in Dubai in 2021 and gave themselves a chance to go one better this year as they struck back to take the second set, leaving it to a mammoth Match Tie-break to separate the two teams.

It was Puetz and Venus that held their nerve to snatch victory, converting their fourth match point as the New Zealander tucked away a forehand volley to clinch the pair’s third ATP Tour title.

Staying solid on serve proved key to victory for Puetz and Venus, as they fired 11 aces and remained unbroken to leave Mektic and Pavic still searching for their first title in 2022.

“Tim and I started in the middle of last year, we get on really well," said Venus after the match. "It just seems to be working, so we’ll just keep going.”

The title was Venus’ second in Dubai, the World No. 14 also having lifted the trophy in 2020 with John Peers, while Puetz was making his debut at the event.