Koolhof/Middelkoop Claim Second Title Of 2016
Top seeds Wesley Koolhof/Matwe Middelkoop won their second ATP World Tour title of the year on Saturday at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel, saving a championship point to prevail over wild cards Dominic Thiem/Dennis Novak, 2-6, 6-3 11-9.
"We had a few tough matches [this week]," said Middelkoop. "We won with four match tie-breaks. We learned how to deal with pressure and dealt with it in a good way."
The Austrian pair opened the match by breaking serve and converted on both of their break point chances in the opening set. But the Dutch pair fought back, earning the lone break of serve in the second set to lead 3/1 and holding onto the momentum to force the championship into a match tie-break.
Thiem/Novak rallied from 4/8 down in the match tie-break to win five straight points, but couldn’t convert on their championship point at 9/8. Koolhof/Middelkoop won the final three points to take the title.
“To play against Dominic Thiem in such a big court and at such a big event is a dream come true," said Middelkoop. "It was a big honour to play for that crowd.”
Koolhof added, "This was the first time I played in front of a big crowd like that [with 5,500 people in the stadium]. It was a great atmosphere.”
Koolhof/Middelkoop won their first-ever ATP World Tour doubles title February at the Garanti Koza Sofia Open in February. They split €25,070 in prize money and earned 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points.
Thiem was appearing in his first ATP World Tour doubles final and Novak in his first ATP World Tour final of any kind. They split €13,170 and 150 points.