Mahut & Roger-Vasselin Move Into Tokyo Final
Kubot/Melo reach Beijing championship match
The second seeds advanced to the championship match of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Brit Dominic Inglot and American Austin Krajicek on Friday evening. In the final, they will face this year’s Monte-Carlo champions, Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor, or defending champion Jan-Lennard Struff (w/McLachlan) and his partner, Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
“[We are] one step away from the trophy and the title,” Mahut said. “It’s going to be really hard either we play Lucas and Struffi or a great Croatian team, so we have one day to be ready.”
The fans were out in full force for the first doubles semi-final at this ATP 500 event, cheering loudly for the great action at Ariake Tennis Park.
“It was great. We saw a couple of French flags in the crowd supporting us, so that was really nice. The atmosphere was great, almost a full stadium for a semi-final,” Roger-Vasselin said. “It’s great for doubles, it’s great for us. Really happy to get to a final.”
Mahut threw his arms in the air in celebration when his team clinched its triumph after one hour and 14 minutes. The Frenchmen saved the two break points they faced, converting on two of their four opportunities.
“Every time I play here I have so much support... today playing a semi-final in front of this crowd is the first time [I’ve played in front of such a crowd], I can say that,” Mahut said. “I hope they come back on Sunday for the final as well.”
Mahut, a 25-time tour-level doubles titlist and Roger Vasselin, who has captured 18 tour-level crowns — including a 2013 victory in Tokyo with Rohan Bopanna — are not just enjoying their wins. They have embraced the city, too.
“Enjoying the tournament, enjoying the city as well. Enjoying the people who are really nice. It’s always nice to have some support on the practice courts. They are coming asking for autographs. It is always nice,” Roger-Vasselin said. “Really happy and of course when you have a good week, it’s always much better.”
The defending champions broke serve on six occasions to record their seventh straight victory at the ATP 500 event after one hour and 33 minutes. Kubot and Melo have not dropped a set en route to the final.