From ‘Pavic And Looking’ to US Open Mixed Champs

Croatia's Mate Pavic notches first Grand Slam title at US Open

Mate Pavic entered the 2016 US Open without a mixed doubles partner. One week later, the 23-year-old Croatian is leaving with the trophy.

Pavic captured his first Grand Slam title on Friday, teaming with Laura Siegemund for the US Open mixed doubles crown. The Croatian-German duo completed a ruthless run in Flushing Meadows, not dropping a set en route to lifting the trophy.

The Split native signed up for the competition as "Pavic and looking", having not secured Siegemund as a partner until just prior to the draw being made. In the final, the tandem upset seventh seeds Rajeev Ram and Coco Vandeweghe 6-4, 6-4 on Arthur Ashe Stadium, striking 30 winners and just 12 unforced errors. They converted three of six break chances, while denying four of five faced. They took the decisive lead at 4-3 in the second set and eventually converted their second match point after one hour and 13 minutes.

"It still has to settle in a little bit," said Pavic. "I'm still not feeling it at the moment. But like she said, it was a great week for us. Maybe the story of how we ended up playing together helped a little bit, because we had no expectations at all. We were just not sure if we were going to play or not. We played all the matches very solid, very good. It was a fun week."

A five-time doubles champion on the ATP World Tour with Michael Venus, Pavic is two spots off his career-high No. 34 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings. He is enjoying his best season at age 23, following titles on the hard courts of Auckland, Montpellier and Marseille, in addition to a grass-court crown in 's-Hertogenbosch.

"I had a good year so far," Pavic added. "I won four [ATP World Tour titles]. So we'll see. I hope to continue like that and get my ranking up. My goal is to be Top 30 by the end of the year and get into the majors and Masters 1000s and all these events. We will see how it goes."
 

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