Kubot/Melo Clinch Sixth Title Of 2017
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo are the team to beat as the ATP World Tour shifts its focus to the Nitto ATP Finals. The Polish-Brazilian pair backed up their bid to finish the year as the No. 1 duo, notching a sixth title in total and third at the Masters 1000 level on Sunday at the Rolex Paris Masters.
Kubot and Melo won a final battle over Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers 7-6(3), 3-6, 10/6, rallying from a 2/5 deficit in the Match Tie-break. They failed to convert on all six break points earned, but came up clutch in the big moments to claim victory after a marathon one hour and 55 minutes.
"We are the team that played the most Match Tie-breaks this year and we know how to play until the last point," said Melo. "We have been playing really well and we did that at the right moment today."
Dodig and Granollers did well to fight back after conceding the opening tie-break. The Croatian produced a pair of sensational shots to grab the lone break of the match for 4-2 in the second set. A return winner on a second serve into the body and a perfectly executed lob over Melo's head gave them the lead and eventually the set.
But Kubot and Melo would storm back to capture the Match Tie-break, rallying from 2/5 down. And they claimed two straight points with Granollers serving at 6/7, eventually notching their first match point on a Melo volley winner.
"We know what we are here for and we're always trying to work on our game," added Kubot. "It's going to be a great end to the season in London and we're happy to reach that goal that we wanted to reach. We still want to improve and we look forward to the first match there."
Kubot and Melo conclude the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London as the top team, with 8,740 points, and split €253,950 in prize money. They have won six titles thus far in 2017, adding to crowns at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 stops in Miami and Madrid, as well as on the grass of 's-Hertogenbosch, Halle and Wimbledon.
It marks the fifth straight year in which a team has lifted at least three Masters 1000 trophies, with Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan doing so from 2013-15 and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut achieving the feat last year.
Individually, 34-year-old Melo has won 28 doubles titles in his career, while 35-year-old Kubot has claimed a total of 20. It was Melo's second Paris crown, having triumphed with Dodig in 2015.
Meanwhile, Dodig and Granollers will make the trip to London for the season finale despite the loss. They punched their ticket earlier in the week in Paris.