Moscow was the scene of a milestone and new teams had their moments of glory. It’s all in this week’s Doubles Take.
Back in 1997, 19-year-old Max Mirnyi won the first doubles title of his career in Shanghai (with Kevin Ullyett). The other players on the court with Mirnyi that day have long since retired. Mirnyi, though, is still going strong at 40 and just won the fiftieth career doubles title at the Kremlin Cup.
Always special to come and play at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Virtually my home event. Thank you @vtbkremlincup for your warm hospitality over the years. Thank you @pistol_ossi for being a Rock this week. So happy for my 50th Title to have come this week. Thank you all for the support. #vtbkremlincup2017 #atpworldtour #moscow #philipposwald #maxmirnyi #maxmirnyicenter #austria #belarus
Partnering with Philipp Oswald, the duo held off Damir Dzumhur’s bid for a single-doubles sweep as the Bosnian teamed up with Antonio Sancic. Mirnyi, a.k.a. “The Beast,” and Oswald won the final in straight sets. It’s Oswald’s third title of the year and first on a hard court.
Mirnyi’s run in the game is one Oswald and many of the other players on the tour hope to emulate.
LEGENDS OF THE FALL
It’s another week, another victory for Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova. The Hungarian-Czech duo captured their third post-US Open title in Moscow with a tight win over Anna Smith and Nicole Melichar.
The winning duo will next be seen in Singapore, where they’re seeded fourth for the WTA Finals. They’ll play Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in their opening match.
After Johanna Larsson and Kiki Bertens, the top seeds and defending champions, withdrew from their first-round match at the Luxembourg Open, the draw opened up.
The unseeded team of Lesley Kerkhove and Lidziya Marozava took full advantage.
In the final, they defeated another unseeded team, Eugenie Bouchard and Kirsten Flipkens. Kerkhove and Marozava each won the first title of their careers.
FIRST TIME’S THE CHARM
At the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium, Scott Lipsky and Divij Sharan won the tournament—their first together on the main tour—by defeating Santiago Gonzalez and Julio Peralta in a deciding tiebreak.
It’s Lipsky’s sixteenth career title and the eleventh year in a row that he’s won at least one event. Sharan, whose other three career finals came with countryman Purav Raja, won his first indoor title.
HOW SWEDE IT IS
With a Wimbledon runner-up finish and two other final appearances in 2017, it’s been a breakout campaign for the team of Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic.
At the Stockholm Open, the pair finally took home the first-place hardware together, holding off Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in the final.
With the win, Marach and Pavic move up to the tenth spot in the Race for London.
NEWS & NOTES
The top of the WTA doubles rankings got a little more crowded—and deservedly so. Yung-Jan Chan, who’s won 11 titles this year—joins Martina Hingis as co-No. 1s. Together, the pair have won nine events in 2017, and are the top seeds at the WTA Finals.
Speaking of the WTA and doubles, the WTA has been streaming matches live on Facebook the past few weeks. They’re in replay mode now for the doubles fan who can’t get enough.
A LOOK AHEAD
The regular season has ended for the women, and the top eight teams are in Singapore for the season-ending championship—be on the lookout for the Doubles Take preview.
For the men, there are two events this week. At the Swiss Indoors in Basel, two of the top three seeds are already out: Henri Kontinen and John Peers lost to Marcus Daniell and Dominic Inglot, while Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock upset Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram.
At the ATP 500-level event in Vienna, four of the world’s best teams make up the seeds, led by Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the top spot.
Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias