Granollers/Zeballos Triumph In Montreal On Team Debut
It didn’t take long for Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos to click in their first tournament as a team. The Spanish-Argentine team won an ATP Masters 1000 title, defeating Dutchmen Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday to emerge victorious at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal.
It is the first time a Spaniard and Argentine have captured glory at this event since Manuel Orantes and Guillermo Vilas did it in Toronto in 1974. The duo dominated with their serves throughout the match, putting pressure on the Dutchmen by making 85 per cent of their first serves and winning 84 per cent of those points. They did not face a break point in their 81-minute triumph.
“It’s our first time we played together. We knew each other for a long time and we enjoyed this week a lot,” Granollers said. “I think we played a great tournament and I hope to play more tournaments with him.”
It was an extra special performance for Granollers, who has recently endured a personal tragedy, as his grandmother passed away a month ago.
“It’s for her,” Granollers said during the post-match ceremony.
Zeballos won a Masters 1000 title earlier this year at the BNP Paribas Open with Nikola Mektic, and 2012 Nitto ATP Finals doubles champion Granollers (w/ Lopez) had won two previous trophies at this level (2012 Rome and 2018 Paris). The team will split $311,910, with each player earning 1,000 ATP Doubles Ranking points. That will send Zeballos into the world's Top 10, the first time an Argentine has accomplished the feat in doubles.
"That is great, I didn't know. My coach told me when we won," Zeballos said. "It's completely crazy, I never expected that... it means a lot for me, as since last year I'm only playing doubles."
Not only did the lefty lift the trophy with a new partner, but he had never played this Canadian Masters 1000 tournament.
“This is my first time here, so I think I’m going to come back for sure,” Zeballos said. “It’s been a really nice week and with Marcel of course, we’ve enjoyed this week as one of the best moments in our careers. So I can’t say anything else. I’m so happy.”
Haase and Koolhof did well to stay in touch throughout the match, but key errors towards the end of each set put them in trouble, preventing them from becoming the first Dutch team to lift the Coupe Rogers title in the Open Era. They both were seeking their first Masters 1000 title after also making the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final together earlier this season.
“It was a great match. You played amazing, I think. I hope you felt as well that you played amazing. Robin, another final together, another loss. So we can still improve, that’s good," Koolhof said, cracking a laugh. "Thanks for playing, it’s been a great week with some very good, entertaining matches."
Haase and Koolhof leave Montreal with a share of $152,210 and 600 points each.