Kubot/Melo Repeat Victory Over Zverevs In Halle
The top seeds defeated the German brothers 7-6(1), 6-4 on Sunday to lift their 10th tour-level title as a team, winning 82 per cent of first-serve points en route to victory after 87 minutes. Kubot and Melo are just the second team to win back-to-back titles in Halle, joining Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram (2015-2016).
"I am very happy," said Kubot. "[It is the] third final for me [in Halle], and with Marcelo [for the] second time. I have very good memories... and I am happy with the performance, especially in the final against the Zverev brothers."
Kubot has now won 22 tour-level doubles crowns, while Melo now owns 30. Zverev/Zverev were aiming to win their second ATP World Tour doubles title together after lifting the Open Sud de France trophy in 2017.
Kubot and Melo, who had not reached a tour-level final since triumphing at the Sydney International in January, entered Halle with a 17-12 record this season. But the top seeds returned to the form that saw them sweep all 14 of their grass-court matches in 2017, when they triumphed in Stuttgart, Halle and at Wimbledon.
"We are very happy to defend this title here," said Melo. "They [went] a break up in the first set... I was a little bit more nervous to play against Sascha, everybody knows he is one of my best friends."
The Germans made a quick start, breaking in the third game for a 2-1 lead. But the top seeds immediately recovered, levelling the match at 2-2 following success on deciding point. After failing to convert set point at 5-4, Kubot and Melo surrendered a mini-break to begin the first-set tie-break, before recovering emphatically with seven consecutive points.
Like the first set, both teams surrendered their second service games, but a tie-break was not needed this time. Kubot and Melo made the crucial move in the seventh game, breaking serve to love for a 4-3 lead. The Polish-Brazilian duo then served out the match two games later, converting their first championship point.
Kubot/Melo gain 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €128,740 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Zverev/Zverev receive 300 points and split €63,030.
"When you win tournaments it is always good to come back to that place... We were working hard this week, not only on the court but also off the court," said Kubot.