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Jurgen Melzer and Franko Skugor win the Marrakech title on their team debut.

Melzer/Skugor Win Marrakech Title On Team Debut

After getting broken immediately, Austrian-Croat team rallies for triumph

Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Croatian Franko Skugor had never played together before arriving at the Grand Prix Hassan II. But they won the title on Saturday, defeating Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Dane Frederik Nielsen 6-4, 7-6(6) to triumph in Marrakech.

In the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Melzer and Skugor survived Match Tie-breaks to advance. But after getting broken in the first game of the final, they never looked back, saving set point in the second-set tie-break to lift the trophy after one hour and 25 minutes.

“First time playing together, I really didn’t expect much. Both of us, we have our qualities when we’re playing well. If we started the week well we knew we could do well and that’s exactly what happened,” Skugor said. “We had some tough matches at the beginning but we managed to get through somehow and at the end, as the tournament went on, we just got better and better.”

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Skugor now has four ATP Tour doubles crowns. He captured three trophies last year with Brit Dominic Inglot. Melzer now owns 15 tour-level doubles titles with seven partners.

“It was a great week for us here. Thanks to Franko for playing with me,” Melzer said. “I really had a great time here in Marrakech.”

Skugor and Melzer earn 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points for their efforts and split €29,650 in prize money. Middelkoop and Nielsen fell short on their team debut, but they add 150 points and a share of €15,200.

Did You Know?
Melzer also won eight ATP Tour singles trophies, and climbed as high as eighth in the ATP Rankings in April 2011.