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Melo, Sa Save Two Match Points in Poertschach

Pörtschach, Austria

Andre Sa, Marcelo MeloGEPA PicturesAndre Sa, Marcelo Melo

The top seed Brazilian duo of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa defeated No. 2 seeds and local favorites Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-7(3), 13-11 in the doubles final of the Hypo Group Tennis International in Poertschach..

The Brazilians saved two match points in the one hour and 40 minute battle en route to their second ATP title of the season. In February, they captured the Costa do Sauipe crown on home soil (d. Montanes-Ventura). They also reached the semifinals in Memphis.

It was the fourth career ATP title for both players. Melo, who also won in Adelaide to begin the season (w/M. Garcia), is 4-0 lifetime in finals. Sa is 4-6 in his career in finals.

"It was a typical doubles match," said Sa. "You couldn't really know who was going to win from the beginning because it was so close. Both teams returned and served very well, which are the main things you have to do in doubles. And the match tie-break is just too much nerves to explain. We had match points and saved match points and it was a crazy match and we're just so happy to come out with the win."

"We are going to arrive there full of confidence and hopefully we could get a good start, a good first match to get us going and keep it up. It's a very important week and we are happy to come out as champions."

Knowle and Melzer were playing together in an ATP tournament for the second time this year; they lost in the first round in Estoril last month. Knowle came in as the defending champion after capturing the title last year with Simon Aspelin, who is now his regular partner. It was Knowle's first ATP final since finishing as runner-up at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai last November. Melzer, who was appearing in his first career final in Pörtschach, advanced to the final in Auckland (w/Malisse) in January.

Knowle is 11-12 in his career in ATP finals while Melzer is 3-11. Melzer was trying to win his first doubles title on home soil after reaching the final in Kitzbuhel in 2003 and Vienna in 2006.

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Aaron M. Sprecher


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