Doubles Take looks back at the last big event before the US Open, and previews the final tune-ups before the players hit the Big Apple.
THE MASTERS OF THE HARD COURTS
For the second week in a row, the Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed an ATP Masters 1000 title, but it wasn’t easy and it took a lot of tiebreakers.
In their opener against countrymen Fabrice Martin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, they needed a deciding match tiebreaker. It was a similar situation against Bob and Mike Bryan in the quarterfinals, where Herbert and Mahut rallied to win the match 10-8 in the decider.
In the semifinals, they squeaked out an 11-9 second-set tiebreak against French Open champions Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus to avoid going the distance yet again. By comparison, their final-round foes Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares made it to the title match without dropping a set.
Despite hot shots like this from Murray…
…It was Herbert and Mahut who came away with the straight-sets victory, giving them their third ATP Masters title of the season and sixth as a team.
SPEAKING OF SIX…
There’s clicking and then there’s what Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan have done.
The team, newly formed this year, won its sixth title of 2017 with a come-from-behind victory over Su-Wei Hsieh and Monica Niculescu in the final of Cincinnati. They’ve now completed a multi-surface double trifecta. Confused? Here’s an explanation:
They have won two titles on hard, clay and grass courts this year. Last week had its share of special moments for Chan and Hingis. For one, they’ve clinched a spot in the year-end championships:
Also, Chan celebrated her birthday, and her partner showcased some of her trademark versatility.
All in all, not a bad week for the title-winning duo.
A LOOK AHEAD
It’s down to the final warm-ups before the US Open begins. The women are in New Haven for the Connecticut Open, and the field is loaded. The top seeds are Sania Mirza and Monica Niculescu, who face a test right off the bat in Washington finalists Eugenie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens.
Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, the No. 2 seeds, have their own challenge. They face the veteran pairing of Abigail Spears and Katarina Srebotnik in their opener. The No. 3-seeded pairing of Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke are already out as they had to abandon their match against Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson.
The men are battling it out at the Winston-Salem Open, where 2014 champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, are back in action together after Farah’s injury hiatus. The No. 2 seeds are Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, winners of two titles so far in 2017.
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