© Henk Koster

Nikola Mektic (right) and Mate Pavic (left) capture their third title of 2021 on Sunday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Mektic/Pavic Earn Third Team Title

Second seeds improved to 16-1 this year with Rotterdam final win

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic added a third title to their 2021 collection on Sunday with a 7-6(7), 6-2 triumph against Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final.

The second seeds saved a set point at 6/7 in the first-set tie-break, before they charged to the finish line after 78 minutes. Mektic and Pavic, who made their team debut at the start of the 2021 season, have claimed three titles from four events this year and compiled a 16-1 record.

Prior to their title run in Rotterdam, the Croatian duo lifted ATP Tour crowns at the Antalya Open and the Murray River Open. Mektic and Pavic’s only loss of the year came against eventual champions Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the Australian Open semi-finals.

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“We have known each other for years already,” said Pavic. “We practised together for the past couple of years always when we were back home. We never played an official match before this year, but I think that helped us. We started to play this year together, but we know the games of each other very well, so I don’t think it took us too much time to adapt to each other on the court. The results prove that.”

One of the keys to Mektic and Pavic’s success in Rotterdam was their high level on serve. In the final, the three-time ATP Tour team titlists claimed 85 per cent of their first-serve points (39/46).

“We came up, throughout the entire tournament, with a high level of serving,” said Mektic. “We only got broken a few times. That was the key. It is indoor tennis. The serve is a very important part of the game in indoor tennis. We did very well and, in the end, I am very happy to win the tournament.”

Krawietz and Tecau were aiming to capture the title on their team debut. The German-Romanian pair defeated fourth seeds Marcelo Melo and Jean-Julien Rojer en route to the championship match.