Welcome back to Doubles Take, where we look at the weekend finals for the best teams in the business on the ATP and WTA tours, as well as a look at the week ahead and other interesting tidbits.
Fun in the Sun in Acapulco
Although they do most of their work on the singles side, John Isner and Feliciano Lopez are formidable doubles players as well. In 2016, Lopez won the French Open doubles title with Marc Lopez, while Isner and Jack Sock took home the Masters 1000 event in Shanghai. Lopez and Isner (“Lopez-ner”?) advanced to the final in Acapulco, but they ran into Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray, one of the best teams in the world, when they got there.
Murray and Soares won in straights, 6-3, 6-3, behind points like this to take their first title of 2017:
On the women’s side, Daria Jurak and Anastaia Rodionova scraped their way to the title match, winning their first two matches in deciding tiebreaks and playing two tough sets in the semis. Things were easier in the final as they won it 6-3, 6-2, over Veronica Cepee Royg and Mariana Duque-Marino.
Doing Doubles Duty-Free
It’s been nearly a year since Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, one of the longest-tenured partnerships on the ATP World Tour, won a title. The 2015 Wimbledon and ATP World Tour Finals champs ended that no-win streak by taking the title in Dubai over fellow veterans Rohan Bopanna and Marcin Matkowski. The teams split the first two sets before the Dutch-Romanian duo ran away with the match tiebreak for a final score of 4-6, 6-3, (10-3).
Party Barty in Malaysia
Want to play better tennis than ever before? Take a year off to pursue cricket! That probably won’t work for everyone, but Ashleigh Barty is making a strong case that it might be worth considering with the way her year has gone. Barty and fellow Aussie Casey Dellacqua won the doubles title at the Malaysian Open, 7-6(5), 6-3, over Nicole Melichar and Makoto Ninomiya.
And Barty didn’t just do it on the doubles court: She also won the first singles title of her career, too—feats that led to her being named Baseline Player of the Week.
Sensational in Sao Paulo
If you’re going to break a nearly two-year title drought, there’s nothing like doing it when the home crowd is behind you—a sentiment Andre Sa would surely agree with. The longtime doubles star teamed up with countryman Rogerio Dutra Silva to eke out a win for the Brasil Open crown, 7-6 (5), 5-7, (10-7), over Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner. Match point captures the emotion of it all.
Au Revoir, Partnership
Last year’s French Open women’s doubles champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won’t be defending their title this year—or trying to win any others, actually. Garcia has decided she wants to focus on singles right now, news that Mladenovic shared with the masses on Twitter.
You can’t say there were any dull moments from Grand Slam glory to wardrobe wars.
A Look Ahead
All of the top pairings will be in Indian Wells, one of the biggest events on the ATP and WTA tours. There will be some interesting partnerships on both sides, perhaps none more intriguing than Rafael Nadal and Bernard Tomic.