Rojer/Tecau Beat Schwartzman/Thiem For Madrid Title
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau faced two match points in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open against five-time champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. But the longtime partners battled through, and six days later they are the doubles titlists.
Rojer and Tecau defeated singles stars Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday in 71 minutes to lift their second trophy in Madrid. The Caja Magica has been a special place for the Dutch-Romanian duo, which has won both of its ATP Masters 1000 titles in the Spanish capital.
"It's a great feeling to win another title here. We prepared well this week. We felt like we had a good level of tennis but of course when you start playing the matches, that's the real test," Tecau said. "We had a big test in the first round against the Bryan Brothers, who are always a tough team to compete against. We managed to save two match points and go through to the next round and that gave us a lot of confidence that we kept riding with.
Rojer and Tecau, who also were victorious in Madrid in 2016, did not qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals last year, as Tecau tried to overcome a right foot injury that kept him out for more than three months. But the veterans, who have competed together since 2014, have their first title together since Winston-Salem last season, and they have earned a trophy as a team for six consecutive years.
“We keep on going for moments like this,” Tecau said. “We fight every day and we manage to get past the tough moments together.”
While the scoreline may appear straightforward, it was a tough test against Schwartzman and Thiem, who defeated the 2018 year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team of Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic en route to the final. But Rojer and Tecau did well to avoid getting into cross-court baseline rallies often, which helped lead them to victory.
“As the world knows, they’re amazing players,” Rojer said. “For us it’s such a treat when we get to play against top players in the world like that. It doesn’t happen often, so we really enjoyed it.”
Rojer and Tecau earned five service breaks and won 83 per cent of their first-serve points to emerge victorious. It is their 19th team title, and they leave with 1,000 ATP Doubles Ranking points and a share of €357,540.
“This is a wonderful event that we love coming to and I’m looking forward to next year,” Tecau said. “It got a little close at the end and we’re really happy to have won this match and this title.”
Schwartzman and Thiem have reached the doubles final in both events they’ve played together this year, also making the championship match in Buenos Aires in February. They claim 600 points and a split of €174,490.
“Thanks to you [Diego] for an incredible week. I think we didn’t expect to be in the finals. With a great friend like you, it was a lot of fun. I think we’re not used to being on Sunday in the doubles [final] of a Masters 1000,” Thiem said. “I really love it [in Madrid]. It was a tough loss yesterday [in singles], but I wish all of you to have great fun tonight in the singles final. It’s going to be great.”