Marach/Pavic Set Sights On First Wimbledon Crown
In 2017, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo defeated Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 13-11 in a deciding fifth set to lift the Wimbledon doubles title. Twelve months later, the two pairings return as the top two seeded teams in the 2018 draw.
But this season, it's Marach and Pavic who are on a roll entering Wimbledon as they bid to go one step further and lift their first SW19 title as a team.
This season, Marach and Pavic have taken the ATP World Tour doubles scene by storm, compiling a 38-8 record in the first six months of the season. The Austrian-Croatian tandem, who lead the ATP Doubles Race to London, have reached seven tour-level finals (4-3) this year, including Grand Slam championship matches at the Australian Open (d. Cabal/Farah) and Roland Garros (l. to Herbert/Mahut).
Marach and Pavic, who will meet Federico Delbonis and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela in the first round, are 2-1 on grass this season after a semi-final run at the Fever-Tree Championships (l. to Murray/Soares). The top seeds share the top quarter of the draw with 2015 finalist Jamie Murray (w/ Peers) and Bruno Soares. Murray and Soares reached their 14th final as a team (7-7) at the Fever-Tree Championships in June.
Lleyton Hewitt, with countryman Alex Bolt, will make his eighth appearance in the draw. The Australian duo, who reached the Surbiton Trophy semi-finals on the ATP Challenger Tour in June, will meet No. 13 seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in the first round.
Roland Garros champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, who lifted the trophy at SW19 in 2016, also feature in the top half of the draw alongside Internazionali BNL d'Italia winners Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
Defending champions Kubot and Melo, who won their second consecutive Gerry Weber Open crown in June, face a tricky first-round test as they begin their title defence. The second seeds will face Nature Valley International champions Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara. Bambridge and O'Mara, competing together at tour-level for the first time, defeated Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski in the first all-British doubles final since 2012 at Devonshire Park.
Kubot and Melo are joined by Americans Mike Bryan and Jack Sock in the bottom quarter. Bryan, a three-time champion, and Sock, who won the 2014 title with Vasek Pospisil, are competing at a Grand Slam for the first time as a team. Bob Bryan is still recovering from the right hip injury he sustained at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Henri Kontinen and John Peers enter the grass-court Grand Slam championship in strong form. The two-time reigning Nitto ATP Finals champions are riding an eight-match win streak in London after their recent success at the Fever-Tree Championships, dating back to the Round Robin stage at the O2 Arena last November.
The third seeds could meet Mutua Madrid Open champions Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya in the quarter-finals. Mektic and Peya, seeded eighth, face Jurgen Melzer and Daniel Nestor in their opening match. Nestor, who won back-to-back titles at Wimbledon in 2008 and 2009 (w/ Zimonjic), and 2010 champion Melzer (w/ Petzschner) are making their team debut.