Tecau/Rojer Aim To Recapture Past Nitto ATP Finals Form
Three-time qualifiers aim for big finish in London
In the world of quickfire doubles, it is rare to lift an ATP Tour trophy without dropping a set during a tournament week. Four years ago, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau did just that, not only wrapping up the 2015 year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team Ranking, but also beating all of their principle rivals at the Nitto ATP Finals.
Memories of that week under the dim lights of The O2 in London burn bright for Rojer and Tecau, who have since added to their 2015 Wimbledon crown with the 2017 US Open title.
“There has been injuries, but also we’re four years old,” Rojer told ATPTour.com. “I also think that many factors came together that week, because it’s one thing to win this event, but also in the fashion that we won it. A lot of things came together, you need a bit of luck. It was one of those weeks.
“We’re trying to recapture that form, perhaps a little differently now as we’re older and train differently. We are trying to reach that level in a different way, maybe not as much time on the court, but you have to reinvent yourselves and done a little bit differently.”
Tecau believes that sticking with a partner in the long-term is beneficial, and in his partnership with Rojer, who possesses fine touch and good hands, opposites attract.
“I think a lot of players are following the formula of having one set partner for a long time, so you can get better with as a team,” Tecau told ATPTour.com. “We have had a few teams likes Cabal/Farah that have been together for a while, and they’ve chosen this year to be successful. The doubles guys are looking to have a commitment for a long-time as a team. It gives you an advantage. I see more of that.”
Over the past five seasons, Rojer and Tecau have compiled an impressive 20-7 record in tour-level finals and, once into a tournament, have a reputation for being able to put together a big run.
“I’m definitely always confident,” said Rojer. “You can’t always win every match, but I’m confident in those moments when it comes to the crunch on a big point. How we’ve played and our past results give you that feeling you can win it. We go into every match feeling that we can win and that gives us confidence. It’s do-able, but you can also lose matches. I think for Horia and I, when we’re on a roll and have a routine, that’s when we can be at our most dangerous. When we pass our first match, and get into the week, that’s when we tend to do well.”
This week at the Nitto ATP Finals, Rojer and Tecau will make their third appearance as a team (also 2017). They will open their campaigns in Group Max Mirnyi on Monday afternoon against Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, the Roland Garros champions.Expert Analysis: Max Mirnyi, former World No. 1 and two-time Nitto ATP Finals doubles champion
“I’m friends with both of them and from a personal, human perspective, they are very different personalities and to see them blend as well as they have and to see them be as patient as they have been is certainly rewarding. They see the reward coming their way every now and then.
“They maybe would have liked to win more, as natural for anybody competing out there. But the fact that they’ve made it back to the Nitto ATP Finals [shows the] significance of their professionalism, commitment to one another and overall improving as tennis players. The longer you stay together, there is more studying availability for those you play against, and the fact that they’re continuing to do well just shows that everybody is out there willing to improve and there are no exceptions.”
The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals will be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November. Buy Your Tickets