Match Tie-Break Magic: Matos/Vega Hernandez Win Mallorca Title
Their partnership is barely three months old, but a lack of experience was again no problem for Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez as they claimed the title at the Mallorca Championships on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilian-Spanish duo came strong late in the championship match to secure a 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 10-1 victory against Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar. It is a second tour-level title for the pair, which only came together in March and was making its grass-court debut at the ATP 250 event in Spain.
“The victory feels amazing,” said Vega Hernandez after lifting the trophy in front of his home fans. “I started the week without knowing if I would be able to finish it as I had an issue in my abductor. We worked really hard with our team and to be able to finish the week like this is really incredible.”
“We had been playing for ten weeks straight,” said Matos. “We took two or three weeks off to rest and practice, and to see that the hard work paid off is really important for us to continue. And to do it on a surface that’s not our best one makes it also really special.”
Until the Match Tie-break, there was little to separate the two teams in their maiden ATP Head2Head series meeting. After clinching the first-set tie-break, Matos and Vega Hernandez fell short in the second-set tie-break despite rallying from 1/6 to level proceedings at 6/6. That disappointment was short-lived, however, as they dropped just one point in the decider to complete a two-hour, 23-minute victory.
Matos and Vega Hernandez lifted the trophy at their first tour-level tournament together in Marrakech in April, before reaching the final in Munich later that month and the quarter-finals at Roland Garros. Their run in Mallorca, which included an impressive semi-final triumph against Roland Garros champions Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer, takes the pair to a 15-3 record for the season.
Vega Hernandez admitted that their strong off-court relationship was a major contributing factor to the pair’s instant success. “It’s really important to get along on and off the Court,” he said. “I think that if there is chemistry off court, it later shows on court.”