Lukas Kubot and Marcelo Melo have reinforced themselves as the No.1 pairing going into the Australian Open after winning the men’s doubles final at the Sydney International.
The pair dispatched the newly formed team of Jan-Leanard Struff and Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-4 in a contest lasting exactly an hour.
They took control of the match early, breaking the Struff serve in the fourth game to establish a 4-1 lead, and were able to control the rest of the first set through a superb display of precise volleying at the net and an excellent first service rate of 88 per cent.
The second set was a tighter affair, with Troicki and Struff showing the skills and touch that got them into the final – and skills which helped deliver Troicki two singles titles at this venue.
They earned two break points against the more fancied pairing and current Wimbledon champions, but despite these struggles, Kubot and Melo eventually broke Struff’s serve in the seventh game to go up 5-3.
Kubot was able to hold his nerve in the deciding deuce point to close out the set and seal the championship.
“It’s always tricky to play singles players, because they hit the ball very hard. They always try to hit from the baseline,” Kubot noted.
“For us, we had to face and make the strategy for us to feel comfortable on the court to win the last point.”
Melo was pleased with their effort. “I think we played very good in the final, as we have been playing in the tournament. We, for sure, are very happy to start the year with a title here in Sydney,” he said.
The win – the pair’s first in Sydney – cements their position as the top-seeded team heading into the first Grand Slam event of the year.