© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz win nine of the last 12 points to prevail in their Nitto ATP Finals debut.

Krawietz/Mies Battle To Debut Win At The O2

German pair defeat Rojer/Tecau on Monday

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies got off to a winning start on their Nitto ATP Finals debuts on Monday afternoon in Group Max Mirnyi round-robin play.

The third-seeded German team battled hard to overcome 2015 champions and sixth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Romania’s Horia Tecau 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-6 in one hour and 44 minutes.

Krawietz and Mies, the second all-German team to compete at the Nitto ATP Finals since Jurgen Fassebender and Hans Pohmann in 1975, have captured three tour-level titles this season – the New York Open (d. S. Gonzalez/Qureshi) in February, their first Grand Slam at Roland Garros (d. Chardy/Martin) in June and the European Open in Antwerp (d. Ram/Salisbury) in October. They have a 29-18 team record in 2019.

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Rojer and Tecau drew upon their previous experience at The O2, capitalising on early nerves from their German opponents, to break Krawietz’s serve for a 4-2 lead after Tecau poached for a forehand volley winner at 15/40. Fine returning from Krawietz and Mies on Rojer’s serve helped them break back immediately to recover to 3-4.

Rojer and Tecau held a set point on Mies’ serve, when leading 6-5, but Mies came up with a big serve and then Krawietz mopped up a routine forehand volley. The Germans raced to a 4/0 lead in the tie-break and Krawietz closed out with an ace.

Undeterred, Rojer and Tecau bounced back right at the start of the second set, with Tecau, particularly, in fine form on return and striking successive low returns to Krawietz’s feet for the break, which proved to be decisive en route to a Match Tie-break.

Now it was Krawietz and Mies’ time to battle, winning eight of the next nine points from a 1/3 deficit to a 9-4 lead in the Match Tie-break. Mies poached a return on match point, which Rojer could not flick back.

Rojer and Tecau are appearing at the season finale at The O2 in London for the third time (2015, 2017), highlighted by a run to the 2015 title, when they also clinched year-end No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings. This year, Rojer and Tecau captured two ATP Tour titles at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Schwartzman/Thiem) and at the Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Fritz/Opelka). They are now 30-22 in 2019.

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