Kubot/Melo Notch Second Masters 1000 Crown In Madrid
Kubot and Melo downed Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 20 minutes on Sunday. The Polish-Brazilian pair turned in an impressive serving performance, claiming 88 per cent of first serve points and saving three of four break points faced.
Also the champions in Miami and runners-up in Indian Wells, Kubot and Melo are off to a flying start in their first full season together. They improve to 17-7 in 2017 and open a 240-point lead over Henri Kontinen and John Peers atop the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London, passing the Finnish-Aussie duo for No. 1.
"We can't feel better," said Melo. "We played another really good tournament. In four Masters 1000 tournaments we won two and reached another final, so these are pretty big results. I am really happy the way we are playing now and looking forward to the next one.
"Lukasz went to Barcelona alone because my mom had some health problems, but she's perfect now. She is recovering at home and watched our final today. It's Mother's Day in Brazil so this title is for her."
After exchanging breaks midway through the first set, the fourth seeds sealed the opener with another break in the 12th game. They would reel off five straight games, also snatching the early lead in the second set, and did not look back from there. With Melo serving for the match at 5-3, Roger-Vasselin turned aside the first championship point with a rifled return winner, but could not handle Melo's delivery on the second.
Individually, it was Kubot's 16th tour-level doubles crown and fourth with Melo. They had also teamed up to win consecutive titles in Vienna in 2015-16. The Brazilian now owns 24 tour-level titles in total, including seven at the Masters 1000 level. They earn 1,000 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split €323,200 in prize money.
"We're learning day-by-day how to improve and we're having great results," said Kubot. "We have to be ready for the tough moments and the next big event in Rome. Let's see what will happen in the future."
The French duo of Mahut and Roger-Vasselin, meanwhile, were bidding for their fifth team title and first since 2013, when they won on the grass of Newport. Mahut falls to 17-13 in tour-level doubles finals, while Roger-Vasselin drops to 13-6.