Kubot & Melo Claim Marathon Wimbledon Doubles Final
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo continued their doubles dominance in 2017, capturing a thrilling final at Wimbledon on Saturday. The Polish-Brazilian duo prevailed 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(2), 6-3, 13-11 over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, needing four hours and 40 minutes to claim their first Grand Slam title as a team.
“Everybody knows how much I want to win this tournament. The year I won Roland Garros, I said my focus was to win here,” said Melo. “Wimbledon is Wimbledon, the tournament I dreamed about since I was young. I did all the preparations to play my best here. I'm really glad to be able to do it.
“I said to Lukasz before the match that I did everything in my life to be here on this court,” he added. “I wanted to enjoy it as much as I can. The energy was so high. The atmosphere on court was unbelievable. There are no words to describe it.”
Also the champions at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Miami and Madrid, as well as the winners on the grass of 's-Hertogenbosch and Halle, Kubot and Melo extended their lead atop the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London. They capped a perfect run through the grass this year, posting a 14-0 record.
It was Kubot's 19th tour-level trophy and second major crown, adding to his 2014 Australian Open victory with Robert Lindstedt. Melo notched his 27th tour-level title and also lifted a second Grand Slam trophy. He previously won at Roland Garros with Ivan Dodig in 2015.
To say Kubot and Melo earned their first Wimbledon crown would be an understatement. Four of the tandem's six wins during the fortnight came in five sets, with three extending past 6-all. The fourth seeds had their backs against the wall in the decider on Saturday.
With sunlight fading over the All England Club, they squandered two match points at 6-5 and faced four break points at 8-all, clawing out of a 0/40 hole. And with the roof later closed, they would not be denied their dates with destiny, breaking to love for the match in the 24th game.
The 13-11 finish was the second-longest fifth set in a Wimbledon doubles final in the Open Era. John McEnroe and Michael Stich prevailed 19-17 in the 1992 title match.
Marach and Pavic, meanwhile, were contesting their first Grand Slam final together. Also runners-up in Stuttgart and Antalya this year, the Austrian-Croatian duo finish the grass-court season with an impressive 11-3 record. Marach falls to 15-21 in tour-level finals, while Pavic drops to 6-13.