Dodig/Melo Triumph In Paris
Second seeds end Pospisil/Sock's chances of London qualification
Second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo captured their third tour-level team title of the season on Sunday as they defeated Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock 2-6, 6-3, 10-5 in the final of the BNP Paribas Masters.
Defeat for Pospisil and Sock denies them the eighth and final spot in the eight-team doubles field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The last berth instead goes to Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea, who will make their team debut at the season finale in London from 15-22 November.
World No. 1 Melo is on a 16-match winning streak, collecting his fourth ATP World Tour title in a row. The Brazilian - who won Tokyo and Shanghai with Raven Klaasen before victory in Vienna with Lukasz Kubot – will end the season as No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, the first player to do so other than Bob Bryan and/or Mike Bryan since Nenad Zimonjic in 2008.
"I think the confidence I got from the last tournaments and this one with Ivan helped us to come back in one more match," said Melo. "This year has been so special for us. It's special for me because I've now won four titles in a row, I've become No. 1, I'm going to be year-end No. 1. So I'm very happy for that.
"We have a little bit more pressure now going into London. But it's one tournament we love to play. We always play well there and I think our team is in the best shape now."
Dodig and Melo lifted their first trophy together since capturing their first Grand Slam championship at Roland Garros, where they defeated the Bryans in the final. They were also victorious in Acapulco earlier in the year.
Having knocked out the Zimonjic/Matkowski, the Bryans and Inglot/Lindstedt to reach the Paris final, Pospisil and Sock made a strong start to the final, breaking serve twice to clinch the opening set. But a sterling return game from Dodig proved decisive in the sixth game of the second set as he and Melo broke Pospisil’s serve to level the match.
Pospisil and Sock twice squandered a mini-break lead in the Match Tie-break and crucial errors from the Canadian/American duo ultimately proved costly. Pospisil double faulted to lose serve at 4-4 and Sock would fire a forehand long to give Dodig and Melo an 8-5 lead. With Melo smothering the net, they went on to close out victory in 65 minutes.
"They really started sharp in the match," said Dodig. "We didn't have that many chances in the first set. For a set and a half they were the better team. Then suddenly we broke them for the first time and the match turned our way. In the Match Tie-break we came out a little more like ourselves and with more concentration on the important points. In the end, it was a very good match. The Match Tie-break was very exciting for the crowd and for us. We managed to win, which is great for us."
Pospisil and Sock narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Final Showdown for the second year in a row. The 2014 Wimbledon champions also finished ninth in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London last year. They were chasing their third title of the season, to add to victories at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the China Open in Beijing.