Herbert/Mahut End Unbeaten Streak; Win Rotterdam Title
The third seeds came from behind to hand the second seeds, who had won all 17 of their previous matches this season, their first defeat of 2018. Marach and Pavic had been bidding to win a fourth title of the season after earlier triumphs in Doha, Auckland and at the Australian Open, but it was the all-French duo who tasted victory after 68 minutes of play.
“[Winning for] the first time with Pierre is something great,” said Mahut. “We are pretty happy about the week, we played so many good teams, especially finally beating the undefeated team. It is something special in the final.”
Herbert and Mahut have now won 11 titles as a team, including three consecutive Masters 1000 titles in Rome, Canada and Cincinnati last season. This is also Mahut’s third title in Rotterdam, having previously lifted the trophy in 2014 (w/Llodra) and 2016 (w/Pospisil).
Marach and Pavic started strong with two breaks of serve to secure a one-set lead, but were taken into a Match Tie-break after a vastly improved serving performance from their opponents in the second set. From there, a series of mini-breaks followed as both pairings struggled to hold serve. But, from 4/6 down, Herbert and Mahut improved their level and charged to victory, winning six of the last seven points, to take the title in the famous port city.
“They played an amazing level in the first set, we were slow to start,” admitted Herbert. “They played amazing and then we levelled it up. We played an amazing game in the beginning of the second [set] and then you go forwards into the [Match] Tie-break, it can go everywhere, but this time it was for us. We are really, really happy about the win today."
Herbert and Mahut will split $120,910 in prize money and earn 500 ATP Rankings points after their title-winning run. “Being able... to win the tournament is just an amazing feeling,” added Herbert. “[Our confidence] is going to get better, I hope, as the year will pass by.”
Did You Know?
Herbert and Mahut have also ended Marach and Pavic’s impressive Match Tie-break winning streak. Before their final loss, the duo had won their past nine extended tie-breaks dating back to the Western & Southern Open in August 2017.