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Knowle and Melo Rally For First Team Title

Auckland, New Zealand

Knowle, Melo© Photo SportJulian Knowle and Marcelo Melo staged an impressive comeback to win the Auckland doubles title.

Julian Knowle and Marcelo Melo rallied from down a set and a break twice to defeat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in a clash of countrymen for the Heineken Open title, in Auckland. Knowle and Melo prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 against the fellow Austrian-Brazilian duo in 79 minutes.

It was the tandem’s first title in just their second tournament together on the ATP World Tour.  Melo, who qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals last year alongside Ivan Dodig, won his 13th doubles crown while Knowle tasted victory for the 17th time.

Melo commented on the comeback following the match. “Today we knew we’d have a really tough match. I played against them a couple of times…We were fighting until the very end and we played a really good end of the second set and Match Tie-break.”

The champions overcame a slow start in Saturday’s title match, with Peya and Soares breaking to open the first and second sets and streaking to a 6-4, 2-1 lead. They would relinquish their advantage, however, when Knowle and Melo broke back and turned the tide for good with a late break for 5-3. The second seeds never faltered after grabbing an early break in the Match Tie-break, converting on their second match point for the victory. They took home $25,060 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points with the title.

“We tried to play point-for-point and see what happens,” said Knowle. “We came back in the end and we got through. It was crucial that we never give up and believe that we can turn it around.”

Peya and Soares extended their impressive run of form despite the loss, having reached the final last week in Doha as well (l. to Berdych/Hajek). Soares entered the Auckland final as the defending champion, winning last year's crown with Colin Fleming. Peya partnered with Oliver Marach to claim the trophy in 2012. It was their 16th final as a team on the ATP World Tour.

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