Fifth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic have been victorious on their team debut at Nitto ATP Finals by winning their first title on Sunday.
They succeeded by beating Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 4-6, 10-5. After joining forces at the Adelaide International in January, it took them 76 minutes to win the trophy after winning 61 percent of their second-serve return points (11/18).
It could be said that they are third time lucky. The Dutch-Croatian duo lost its first two finals at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille and the US Open earlier this year.
Speaking on how they ended the season with a 24-13 team record, Mektic describes the feeling as unbelievable, adding that he will remember throughout his whole life.
Mektic, who also noted that it is the biggest achievement of his life and career, said such a moment would be remembered and cherished forever.
While noting that it was a great way to end the year, the player said he now has many reasons to celebrate.
Koolhof has now added to the list of Dutch players that have won the trophy. He is now the number four Dutch player to win the Nitto ATP Finals doubles crown. Others who have lifted the trophy include two-time champions Jacco Eltingh/Paul Haarhuis (1993, ’98) and Jean-Julien Rojer (2015).
Mektic, on the other hand, has put his country in the record book here as the first Croatian to win the trophy.
Mektic and Koolhof have been lauded for their consistent success on their returns. This is believed to be one of the key features of their title run at The O2.
In the match’s opening game, the pair continued that trend, with Mektic showing the power in his forehand to return the winner down the line and broke serve.
The pair then earned a double-break advantage after firing a low return at 3-1 to clinch the set with a love service hold.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed