Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic continued their dream team debut in the Nitto ATP Final on Saturday, beating Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 to reach the league game in London.
Group winners Mike Bryan drew seven aces and came back confidently to improve to 3-1 at O2 this week. Koolhof and Mektic are trying to win their first team title in their first year as a duo. The fifth seed was second at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille and the US Open earlier this year.
Koolhof and Mektic entered the tournament with just one win in their last four matches, but the US Open finalists played their best tennis in the season finale. Following their semi-final victory, the pair collected 800 FedEx ATP Double Team Rankings points this week and will have the chance to earn an additional 500 points in the championship game.
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After failing to convert two break points in their opening second leg, Koolhof and Mektic played aggressively on their returns and showed great reflexes at the net to earn two more break opportunities at 4-3 in the first. set. Koolhof converted the first chance with a well-placed lob and took the set in the next game with a forehand volley.
Koolhof and Mektic continued to hit their return goals in the second set, as they fired a series of ankle-deep returns from Granollers to interrupt the serve at 1-1. The fifth seed maintained their advantage and earned their place in the final with a loving serve.
Granollers and Zeballos were chasing their fourth team trophy of the year. The Spanish-Argentinian duo end their 2020 TBEN season with titles in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Rome and a team record of 24-8.
Koolhof and Mektic will face Rajeev Ram / Joe Salisbury or Jurgen Melzer / Edouard Roger-Vasselin for the trophy. The Dutch-Croatian tandem have an ATP Head2Head 2-1 record against Ram / Salisbury and did not meet Melzer / Roger-Vasselin on tour.