Mektic/Skugor Save MP To Lift Trophy
Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor saved one championship point on Sunday to win the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, beating Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 11-9 in a dramatic final.
The seventh seeds, making their first appearance as a team since the 2017 Swiss Indoors, won 76 per cent of first-serve points (37/49) to claim their first title together. Mektic and Skugor earned three straight points from 8/9 down in the Match Tie-break to lift the trophy after two hours and three minutes.
“It feels amazing. I knew we could do really well because we did already in the past, not having too many matches together, but we still had great results like the semi-final at Wimbledon,” said Skugor. “But it is our first week since we decided to play together again and winning a Masters 1000 is just an amazing feeling.”
Mektic has now won three ATP Masters 1000 titles in the past year, following wins at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open (w/Peya) and this year’s BNP Paribas Open (w/Zeballos). The 30-year-old owns seven trophies from 12 tour-level doubles finals.
Skugor has now won tour-level doubles trophies in two straight weeks. The five-time tour-level titlist also triumphed alongside Jurgen Melzer at the Grand Prix Hassan II last week.
“It is definitely the biggest title for me and one of the best moments on court,” said Skugor. “It was a really tough match and not the perfect conditions to play, but still, winning such an event is just an amazing feeling.”
Haase and Koolhof recovered from 0-3 down in the opening set and saved three consecutive set points at 5-6, 15/40 before claiming the opener after 51 minutes in the tie-break. After Koolhof fired a forehand return winner down the line to break for a 5-3 lead, Mektic and Skugor raised their game to turn the match around.
After racing out to a 6/0 lead in the second-set tie-break, Mektic and Skugor claimed the second set on their third set point. The Croatian duo then saved championship point as Mektic moved up the court to pressure Haase into a forehand error and, after a forehand volley error from Koolhof at 9/9, the seventh seeds converted their first championship point to claim the trophy.
“It was just important to keep going no matter what was happening,” said Mektic. “We were up and then I made some double faults and all of a sudden we were down… They made some mistakes to bring us back in the match. In the end, like Robin said, we just won the last point and it could have gone either way.”
Appearing in their second tour-level event as a team, Haase and Koolhof were also aiming to capture the first trophy as a team. Haase owns five titles from from 14 tour-level championship matches.
Koolhof was bidding to go a step further after also finishing as runner-up alongside #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Miami Open presented by Itau last month. The 29-year-old claimed his fourth ATP Tour doubles title alongside Marcus Daniell at the Brisbane International in January (d. Ram/Salisbury).
Mektic and Skugor receive 1,000 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €284,860 in prize money for their title run. Haase and Koolhof gain 600 points and share €139,020.