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Wild Cards Take Auckland Doubles Title

Auckland, New Zealand

Tecau, Daniell trophy© Getty ImagesHoria Tecau and Marcus Daniell clinched the Auckland title on Sunday.
Wild cards Marcus Daniell and Horia Tecau, playing as a doubles team for the very first time, completed a fairytale run to the Heineken Open title on Saturday, and in doing so giving New Zealand its first home-grown champion in Auckland in 12 years.

In the doubles final of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament, New Zealand's Daniell and Romanian Tecau defeated Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, 7-5, 6-4 in 80 minutes. 
 
Daniell becomes the first local winner of a Heineken Open title since Brett Steven won the 1998 doubles crown, and the first Kiwi to win an ATP World Tour title since James Greenhalgh took the 1999 Hong Kong doubles.

"This is completely unexpected... amazing," Daniell said.  "The biggest benefit will be the belief that I can play with these guys at this level.

For Tecau it was a case of third time lucky, having gone into Saturday's championship match with a 0-2 record in ATP World Tour doubles finals, both in 2009.

"I was never thinking we were going to win the title, but I was positive we could play well and be a tough team to beat," Tecau said.
 
Daniell and Tecau broke Soares serve in the 11th game, going on take the first set in 45 minutes.  The duo then opened up a 4-1 lead in the second set, after breaking Melo's serve in the fourth game.
 
Melo and Soares had not dropped a set en route to the title match, while Daniell and Tecau had rallied to post Match Tie-break wins in the past two rounds. 
 
Melo dropped to 6-5 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals and Soares fell to 2-3.


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© Raed Krishnan

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