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Dodig/Melo Win Shanghai Doubles Title; Improve London Qualification Chances

Shanghai, China

Melo, Dodig© Getty ImagesMarcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig celebrate clinching the Shanghai title.

Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo improved their chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the first time by capturing the Shanghai Rolex Masters title on Sunday.

The fifth seeds defeated eighth-seeded Spaniards and fellow London contenders David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco 7-6(2), 6-7(6), 10-2, in a thrilling final, for their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown that was also their first team title.

The Croatian-Brazilian team earned $226,000 and 1,000 Emirates ATP Ranking points for their victory in one hour and 44 minutes, and moved up to third position in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings.

"It feels great," said Melo. "[We had] a couple tough matches against Roger in the first match [and] the Bryans. We are happy to win here in Shanghai."

When asked about their chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Dodig said, “It's important for us. We're looking forward to having another great experience after this title and play in the last eight teams in [London]."

Marrero and Verdasco failed to convert four break point opportunities in the first set, which lasted 45 minutes. At 5-5, Melo recovered from 15/40 and also saved a deciding deuce point with a second serve down the middle.

Dodig and Melo won the first six points in the tie-break, with Dodig producing some excellent returns to the feet. The duo won 79 per cent of their first service points.

In the second set, Verdasco saved a deciding deuce point at 2-2, with a powerful forehand drive volley winner, and Marrero withstood mounting pressure two games later with clutch serving at 30/30 and 40/30.

Playing with greater aggression, Marrero and Verdasco won the first five points in the tie-break. The duo squandered three set point opportunities from 6-3, including Marrero’s failure to clinch the set when serving at 6-5. On their fourth set point at 7-6, Verdasco struck a backhand return winner to earn a Match tie-break. The second set lasted 47 minutes.

Melo, DodigDodig and Melo played with confidence in the Match tie-break by mixing up their service placement and getting each return back into play. They also remained solid at the net – with Melo, particularly, keeping Marrero and Verdasco guessing. Melo closed out the match on the first of seven championship points.

Dodig and Melo, who finished runners up to Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in this year’s Wimbledon final, improved to a 39-27 career record as a team. Dodig is now 1-4 in doubles finals, while Melo improves to a 12-12 mark in title matches. He also won the Brisbane International title (w/Tommy Robredo) in January.

Dodig and Melo beat Roger Federer and Ze Zhang (10-8 in a Match TB) in the second round, fourth seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in the quarter-finals and the top-seeded Bryan twins (10-7 in a Match TB) in the semi-finals.

Marrero and Verdasco, who are in fifth position in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, dropped to 5-2 lifetime record in ATP World Tour finals. Last month they captured the St. Petersburg Open crown (d. Inglot-Istomin). Marrero is now 9-7 in title matches and Verdasco is 6-4 overall in finals.

The Spaniards split $110,600 in prize money and earned 600 Emirates ATP Ranking points

Marrero and Verdasco beat Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi (10-7 in a Match TB) in the second round, second seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the quarter-finals and Jamie Murray and John Peers (in two tie-break sets) in the semi-finals.

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