Matos/Meligeni Rodrigues Alves Claim Cordoba Crown
Brazilian duo Rafael Matos and Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves completed a dream week at the Cordoba Open with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Romain Arneodo and Benoit Paire on Sunday to win their first ATP Tour title.
Matos and Meligeni Rodrigues Alves were making their team debut this week, and they had to overcome major challenges to even reach the Cordoba main draw.
“It was a special week,” Meligeni Rodrigues Alves told ATPTour.com . “We were one out [from the main draw], an alternate, and we got in at the last [minute]. It was a really good experience for us just playing in our first ATP [Tour event] together.
“It means a lot for us. Our first time playing ATP and we won, it’s a really good feeling… I hope we can win more titles together, and even in singles as well.”
They passed their biggest test in the quarter-finals when they edged past top seeds Austin Krajicek and Franko Skugor in a rollercoaster 7-6(6), 5-7, 10-2 battle. The Brazilians marched into their first ATP Tour final, with 25-year-old Matos contesting his third ATP Tour main draw while Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, 23, was in his second.
“I think with every match we were improving,” Meligeni Rodrigues Alves said. “The quarters and the semis were very tough against great players. We were able to play our best tennis in the tough moments, so in the final we knew what to do even though we were a little bit nervous at the beginning.”
They were the more solid team across two sets against Arneodo and Paire, who were reprising their partnership after falling in the opening round of the Australian Open. Meligeni Rodrigues Alves and Matos combined for seven break point chances in the first set and five in the second, successfully keeping Arneodo and Paire under pressure throughout the contest. They served strongly as well, winning 82% of points behind their first delivery, and as a result they didn’t face break point en route to victory in 65 minutes.