© Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

Sander Gille (right) and Joran Vliegen (left) did not drop a set en route to the Astana Open title.

Gille/Vliegen Lift First Trophy Of 2020 In Nur-Sultan

Belgians own 4-1 record in tour-level finals

Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen captured their first title of the season at the Astana Open on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against Max Purcell and Luke Saville.

The top seeds landed 11 aces and saved both break points they faced to claim the trophy after 78 minutes. Gille and Vliegen, who were appearing in their first final in 13 months, improved to 15-14 this season.

“It has been a short year with some ups and downs, but I think we can be very happy about our level,” said Vliegen. “We switched sides just before the restart, so we knew it was going to take some time and [the change] would not be giving us titles right away.

“We are very happy with the level we showed this week here in Kazakhstan, playing with a lot of confidence. I think we did a lot of things right, so we are very happy.”

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The Belgians did not drop a set en route to the trophy. Prior to their final triumph, Gille and Vliegen also earned straight-sets wins against Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul in the first round and Marcelo Arevalo and Tomislav Brkic in the semi-finals.

Gille and Vliegen improved to 4-1 in tour-level championship matches. The pair reached its first four ATP Tour finals last year and won titles in Båstad, Gstaad and Zhuhai.

“I am very proud [of our finals record]. It was something that I was thinking about before the match,” said Gille. “I think last year we just did really well and then to have three titles in the bag already made me a lot less stressed today… I had a really nice feeling before the match and then you start it feeling good, feeling loose. To end the match winning again, getting the fourth [trophy], is just a great feeling.”

Purcell and Saville were attempting to lift their first ATP Tour trophy as a team. The Australians reached their first tour-level final as a pair at the Australian Open in February (l. to Ram/Salisbury). Purcell and Saville are bidding to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals — to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November — for the first time.

Gille and Vliegen earn 250 FedEx ATP Doubles Ranking points and share $6,080 in prize money. Purcell and Saville earn 150 points and split $5,040.