Peers/Venus Capture Third Team Title In Antwerp
Second seeds did not drop a set en route to the title
The second seeds played well under pressure to save five of six break points and dropped just three points behind their serves (30/33) en route to a 58-minute victory. Peers and Venus, who joined forces at the ASB Classic in January, improved to 3-0 in championship matches and 21-8 as a pair.
“It is our first year playing together and to be able to win [our first three finals] straight off the bat is very good and very promising,” said Peers. “The challenge is to step it up and do it at Masters 1000-level and the Grand Slams. For us to do this in our first year together is very good.”
This year’s Dubai and Hamburg champions did not drop a set this week in Antwerp and they improved their chances of qualifying for next month’s Nitto ATP Finals. Peers and Venus currently sit in sixth position in the FedEx ATP Battle For London, with four spots in the doubles field still available.
This is Peers’ 23rd tour-level title run (23-12), while Venus improved to 13-14 in championship matches. The Aussie-Kiwi tandem earned 250 FedEx ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €10,710 in prize money.
“I thought we did really well to come out and play at a good level early. We took our chances from the start and that just put us on the front foot,” said Peers. “We created a couple of good opportunities early in the second set and didn’t take them, but we just stayed focussed and kept asking questions of them to actually lift their level. We played at a good level throughout the whole match.”
Bopanna and Middelkoop were attempting to clinch their first title as a pair on their team debut. The unseeded duo defeated two seeded teams — fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski and fifth seeds Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen — to reach the final. Bopanna and Middelkoop captured 150 points and share €7,820.
Did You Know?
Peers and Venus won their final three matches of the tournament by the same score. Prior to their final victory against Bopanna and Middelkoop, the team also earned 6-3, 6-4 wins against Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez in the quarter-finals and Pablo Andujar and Sander Arends in the semi-finals.