© Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open/A. Tomassetti

Mate Pavic and Oliver Marach lift their fifth team title on Saturday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open.

Marach/Pavic Clinch Fourth Title of 2018 in Geneva

Top seeds save one championship point to beat Dodig/Ram

Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic won their fourth tour-level title of the season on Saturday, saving one championship point to defeat Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram 3-6, 7-6(3), 11-9 at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open.

"I am very happy to win this tournament here," said Marach. "I won last year in Gstaad, so I guess I like Switzerland a lot."

The top seeds won three straight points from 8/9 down in the Match Tie-break to win the title after one hour and 47 minutes. Marach and Pavic, who will move to No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Race to London on Monday, won 83 per cent of first-serve points and saved seven of the nine break points they faced en route to victory. It is Marach’s 21st tour-level doubles crown. Newly-crowned World No. 1 Pavic has now lifted 12 tour-level titles.

Dodig was bidding to lift his 11th tour-level trophy, while Ram was aiming to clinch his 16th crown at tour-level. The BMW Open by FWU champions (d. Mektic/Peya) hold a 13-9 record this season.

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A ripped Dodig backhand return on deciding point at 3-2 clinched the only break of the first set for the second seeds, who quickly took a one-set lead on their first set point after confident serving from both men.

Dodig and Ram appeared to strengthen their grip on the championship match in the second set, getting the better of Marach and Pavic on yet another deciding point before moving to a 4-2 lead. But the Austrian-Croatian duo were not to be denied, breaking back to level the scores at 4-4 before missing out on a set point at 6-5 to level the match.

Dodig and Ram opened up an early 2-0 lead in the tie-break, but Marach and Pavic stormed back, winning seven of the following eight points to grab the momentum and take the final into a Match Tie-break.

Both teams held serve until 8/8, with the Croatian-American tandem seizing the first mini-break to earn championship point at 9/8. But Marach and Pavic showed their class from there, serving strongly to avoid their third consecutive final defeat before converting their first championship point at the net to win their fifth team title.

"We were just fighting through the match, they played a good match," said Pavic. "They are tough opponents and they were serving pretty good."

Marach and Pavic receive 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €27,170 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Dodig and Ram gain 150 points and will split €14,280.

Did You Know?
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic hold a 31-6 record this season. The duo began the season with 17 consecutive victories, picking up titles in Doha, Auckland and at the Australian Open. Marach and Pavic also reached championship matches earlier this season in Rotterdam and Monte-Carlo.