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Brazilians Melo-Soares Win First Title

Nice, France

Marcelo Melo, Bruno Soares© Yohan BrandtMarcelo Melo and Bruno Soares won their first ATP World Tour team title.

Third-seeded Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares captured their first ATP World Tour doubles title at the Open de Nice Cote d'Azur on Saturday.

Melo and Sa defeated Indian Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan 1-6, 6-3, 10-5 in 73 minutes at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament.

“I'm really happy, because we have been friends for a long time and are from the same tennis club," said Soares. "It really is special for us."

Said Melo, "It was our second final this year, so we are really excited to have won. For sure we'll celebrate this first title and I hope it will be one of many.

"We played really well and came from Davis Cup in good form. It was a good week for us. We’ll head to Paris tomorrow and I hope we’ll put in a good performance at Roland Garros."

Melo and Soares picked up 250 points towards their 2010 ATP Doubles Team Ranking and split €21,650 in prize money. Bopanna and Qureshi earned €11,350 and 150 points.

Qureshi was forced to save a break point in the opening game, before the duo broke serve in the second and fourth games. Bopanna and Qureshi hit two aces and won 16 of 20 service points to clinch the first set in just 24 minutes.

It was a different story in the second set, as Melo and Soares opened up a 3-0 lead. Despite Melo hitting two double faults in the first game, the duo broke Qureshi's service in an eight-point second game.

Bopanna, QureshiOn two occasions, Melo and Soares missed points to take a 4-1 lead. Breaking Melo’s serve on their first opportunity, Bopanna went on to hold serve to 15 for 3-3.

The Brazilians regained their concentration and Qureshi found himself serving at 15/40 in the eighth game. He hit an ace to save one break point, but could not get back to deuce. At 5-3, Melo took the final to a Match tie-break with a service hold to 30 after 60 minutes of play.

In the Match tie-break, Melo and Soares won the first three points and all eight service points. They dropped one set in four matches this week.

"I think we stayed calm, when they played really well in the first set," said Soares. "It was tough and we didn't have a chance. But after that we picked it up and played really solid in the Match tie-break."

Melo improved to a 7-5 lifetime record in ATP World Tour doubles finals and Soares to a 3-3 overall mark. In January, they reached the Heineken Open final at Auckland (l. to Daniell-Tecau).

Bopanna and Qureshi, both 30 years old, captured their first title at the SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg (d. Beck-Levy) in February. They also finished runner-up at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca (l. to Lindstedt-Tecau) last month.

DEUCE Magazine: Bridging A Great Divide

Bopanna dropped to a 2-8 overall record in finals, while World No. 47 Qureshi fell to 1-4 overall.

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