© Serbia Open 2022

Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic advance to a second tour-level final of 2022 in Belgrade on Friday.

Mektic/Pavic Surge To Final In Belgrade

Krawietz/Mies take out defending champs Cabal/Farah in Barcelona

Top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic moved within one win of securing a first title since the Tokyo Olympics in July with a 7-6(3), 6-3 win over Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski at the Serbia Open in Belgrade.

The Croatian pairing, which ended 2021 as the No. 1 doubles team in the ATP Rankings after picking up nine tour-level titles last year, has struggled for its best form this season. Two breaks of serve in the semi-final of the ATP 250 event on Friday were enough for them to reach their second championship match of the year, however, as they continued a strong showing on debut in Belgrade.

Mektic and Pavic will face Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar in Saturday’s championship match after the Uruguayan-Ecuadorian team ousted Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic 6-2, 7-6(3). Behar and Escobar, who also reached the final in Belgrade in last year, are chasing a third ATP Tour title together having lifted the trophies in Delray Beach and Marbella in 2021.

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At the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies overcame defending champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in a rematch of the 2021 final to seal a last-four spot at the ATP 500 event.

Krawietz and Mies are two-time Grand Slam champions on the clay at Roland Garros and the German pairing had to use all their experience on the red dirt to hold off the fourth-seeded Colombians in a 6-4, 7-5 win. Krawietz and Mies saved all 10 break points they faced in a 90-minute victory to level the ATP Head2Head series between the two teams at 1-1 — Cabal and Farah triumphed in the only previous meeting between the teams at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals.

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Also in Barcelona, Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer continued their strong 2022 with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over a pair of Top 50 singles stars in Pedro Martinez and Lorenzo Sonego.

Arevalo and Rojer are hunting their third title of the year after back-to-back triumphs on the hard courts in Dallas and Delray Beach in February. The El Salvadorian-Dutch duo proved its clay-court pedigree with a run to the semi-finals at last week’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, and the pair held their nerve on Friday to rally from 0/4 in the second set tie-break by winning seven straight points.

Their semi-final opponents will be Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, the in-form Dutch-British team chasing a fourth tour-level title of the year. Koolhof and Skupski advanced via walkover from their quarter-final, as did Mexican-Argentine duo Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni.

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