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Australian Open Doubles Final Preview

Melbourne, Australia

Kubot, Lindstedt© Getty ImagesRobert Lindstedt and Lukasz Kubot are seeking their first Grand Slam doubles title.

A first Grand Slam doubles title will be on the line Saturday evening at Melbourne Park when No. 14 seeds Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt face the unseeded duo of Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen.

For the third time in the past five years, the doubles final of a Slam will involve two teams with no such titles between them.

Lindstedt is the lone member of the quartet with major final experience and a win would undoubtedly provide a long-awaited career-defining moment for the 36-year-old Swede. The runner-up at Wimbledon for three consecutive years, from 2010-2012, Lindstedt is partnering with Kubot for the first time on the Grand Slam stage after three years alongside multiple partners, particularly Horia Tecau. In fact, the tandem had never won a tour-level match together prior to this fortnight Down Under.

Kubot is seeking to become the first Polish man to win a Grand Slam doubles title since Wojtek Fibak won the 1978 Australian Open with Kim Warwick. A semi-finalist in Melbourne in 2009, the Pole has won eight ATP World Tour doubles titles with four different partners. Lindstedt, meanwhile, has accumulated 17 doubles trophies, having reached a career-high No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings last year. He most notably triumphed at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati in 2012, with Tecau.

On the other side of the net, Butorac and Klaasen are seeking to become the first unseeded doubles champions at the Australian Open in nearly 20 years, when Stefan Edberg and Petr Korda won in 1996.

They made headlines early in Melbourne, ending the one-off comeback of Patrick Rafter, with Lleyton Hewitt, in the first round and stunning top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the third round, not dropping a set in either encounter. Another straight-sets victory in the semis, over the accomplished team of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, vaulted Butorac and Klaasen into the final. Semi-finalists in Auckland, the week prior to the Australian Open, the American-South African duo boast a combined 17 ATP World Tour doubles titles and are enjoying respective career-best Grand Slam results.

A maiden Grand Slam doubles champion will be coronated at the Australian Open for the first time since 2008, when Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich were anointed champions.

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