Maiden Moment: Mektic/Melzer Capture First Team Title In Sofia
Mektic/Melzer dominate Match Tie-break to clinch title
Nikola Mektic and Jurgen Melzer lifted their first team title on Sunday, beating Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Christopher Rungkat 6-2, 4-6, 10-2 at the Sofia Open.
The Croatian-Austrian tandem, appearing in just their third event as a team, saved five of six break points to triumph after 67 minutes. Following a straight-sets win in their first-round match, Mektic and Melzer survived three successive Match Tie-breaks to claim the trophy.
"I am very happy to win the title," said Mektic. "Last May was my last final, so it is very good to be in a final and win again... It is going to be good motivation for the rest of the season.
"We have had some tough battles [this week]. We saved [three] match points in [the quarter-finals] but we came out strong in the end and I have to thank Jurgen again for playing with me. It was a great week."
Mektic, who finished as a runner-up last year in the Bulgarian capital (w/Peya), improves to 5-5 in tour-level finals. Over four years after claiming his 13th tour-level doubles trophy in Vienna (w/Petzschner) in 2014, Melzer adds a 14th title to his collection.
"After coming back from elbow surgery and being out of the Top 100 for such a long time... there is nothing better that can happen to me than winning a title early in the year," said Melzer.
Hsieh and Rungkat were also aiming to capture their maiden tour-level crown as a team. The unseeded duo has lifted three ATP Challenger Tour titles, which includes its most recent triumph in Da Nang last month (d. Paes/Reyes-Varela).
Mektic and Melzer earn 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €29,650 in prize money. Hsieh and Rungkat receive 150 points and split €15,200.
"I felt like we were much better for a set and a half," said Melzer. "In the beginning of the second set, we had break points but didn't use them. They played a good game to break me... but it [was a] really clutch Match Tie-break... When the match was on the line, we came up with really good tennis all week."