Doubles Preview: Herbert/Mahut Attempt To Retain Title
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will have to battle through a tough draw if they are to retain their title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters next week. Eight of the Top 10 teams in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings are entered in the draw.
The second-seeded French duo, winners seven team titles from 12 finals, will face a test in their second-round opener against Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor or Fabio Fognini and Stan Wawrinka. In the quarter-finals they could face sixth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers, who ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals in Rotterdam.
Fourth seeds Lukas Kubot and Marcelo Melo may challenge seventh seeds Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez also feature in the bottom half of the draw at the season’s third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
Top seeds Henri Kontinen, who is currently No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, and John Peers will have to work their way past Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki or Gilles Muller and Gilles Simon in their first match, prior to a potential last-eight encounter against fifth seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram.
Third seeds and 2016 finalists Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and eighth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau have also been drawn in the top half.
Five-time champion Zimonjic, who is playing for the 17th time in the past 18 years (except 2003), leads a list of five other players who have won the title:
— Nenad Zimonjic (5): 2004 (w/Henman), 2005 (w/Paes), 2009-10 (w/Nestor), 2013 (w/Benneteau)
— Max Mirnyi (2): 2003 (w/Bhupathi), 2006 (w/ Bjorkman)
— Daniel Nestor (2): 2009-10 (w/Zimonjic)
— Julien Benneteau (1): 2013 (w/Zimonjic)
— Pierre-Hugues Herbert (1): 2016 (w/Mahut)
— Nicolas Mahut (1): 2016 (w/Herbert)
Top 10 Singles Players in Draw: There are four Top 10 singles players in the doubles draw. The last Top 10 singles player to win the doubles title was No. 2 Rafael Nadal (w/Robredo) in 2008. World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who is playing doubles in Monte-Carlo for the first time since 2010, leads the group:
No. 2 Novak Djokovic (w/Troicki)
No. 3 Stan Wawrinka (w/Fognini)
No. 8 Marin Cilic (w/Petzschner)
No. 9 Dominic Thiem (w/Kohlschreiber)