Colombians Claim Historic First Masters Title In Rome
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah had their backs against the wall throughout the week at the Foro Italico. And on Sunday, the Colombians survived once again to claim their maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns.
Cabal and Farah rallied past Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa 3-6, 6-4, 10-4 to take the title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Appearing in their second final at the Masters 1000 level, having finished runners-up in Miami in 2014, the duo went one step further to emerge victorious.
"This is the title we have been looking for, for a long time," said Cabal. "We've been working hard for it. Hard work pays off in the end and we're really happy about it. This keeps us motivated.
"Today we started with a certain strategy but it wasn't working, so we had to change it up. Then, it paid off in the end. We just hung in there."
Not only are Cabal/Farah the first Colombians to win a Masters 1000 title, they are also the first all-South American team to prevail at the elite level. They take home €289,670 in prize money and 1,000 ATP Doubles Rankings points, rising to third in the ATP Doubles Race To London.
"It's an amazing feeling," added Farah. "We played in a couple finals this year and weren't able to win the title. But I feel like this is very special being a Masters 1000 event. We've been working for this and to win the biggest title on the ATP World Tour , this is something you remember for the rest of your life."
The sixth seeds were made to work all week in Rome, with three of their four wins coming in Match Tie-breaks. They opened with a narrow victory over Dutch pair Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer, upset top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in straight sets and battled past Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in a decider in Saturday's semi-finals.
It was the 11th title as a team for Cabal/Farah, who opened their 2018 campaigns with a run to their first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Carreno Busta and Sousa will hold their heads high after an improbable run to the final. The last team in the field, the Spanish-Portuguese tandem were appearing in their first Masters 1000 title match.
When Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan withdrew due to Bob's hip injury, the door opened for Carreno Busta and Sousa, and they took full advantage as alternates. For Carreno Busta, it was his first doubles final since winning in Rio de Janeiro last year (w/Cuevas), and for Sousa, it was his first doubles final at the tour-level. They split €141,820 and 600 ATP Doubles Rankings points.