Read & Watch: Nitto ATP Finals Champions Win In Brisbane
Henri Kontinen and John Peers certainly finished 2017 on a high note, retaining their trophy at the Nitto ATP Finals.
And if the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp is a sign of things to come, the Finnish-Australian pair has no intentions of slowing down, as they rallied to defeat Leonardo Mayer and Horacio Zeballos 3-6, 6-3, 10/2 to claim their 11th team title and second in Brisbane.
“We snuck out of my first service game in the second set. And then we just got momentum going our way. And then actually played a really, really good tie-break at the end,” Peers said. “A lot of fun to finish off the tournament that way."
It was the 19th ATP World Tour doubles title of Kontinen’s career, and No. 17 for Peers. The duo extended their winning streak in finals to 8, with their only loss (11-1) coming at the 2016 Rolex Shanghai Masters (l. to Isner/Sock).
The team will always hold fond memories of Brisbane, as they first partnered together in 2016 at the season-opening event when they won the title, and they have not looked back since.
Capturing a second trophy in three years at the tournament distanced a 2017 showing in which the duo fell in the first round. It was not easy for Kontinen and Peers in the final, though.
Mayer and Zeballos did not face a break point in the first set, breaking the top seeds at 3-2 to gain the advantage that allowed them to earn the opening set.
But Kontinen and Peers bounced back, breaking the Argentines in their first service game of the second set, and they never looked back. Despite losing the first point of the ensuing Match Tie-break, the team won the next eight points to sprint to a lead they would not give up, claiming 250 ATP Rankings points and a share of $25,410, while Mayer and Zeballos leave Brisbane with 150 points each and a split of $13,360.
"I just enjoy playing, playing a lot,” Kontinen said. "Matches like this today, doesn't matter if it's a final of a 250 or a [Grand] Slam or any other big event, or bigger on paper. I just enjoy the feeling of being out there. So hopefully we've got a lot of these matches coming up this year."