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Gille/Vliegen win Monte-Carlo title


Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen captured their maiden ATP Masters 1000 title as a team on Sunday when they overcame Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

The Belgians were strong behind their second serve, winning 60 per cent (15/25) of points behind their second delivery. They then raced clear in the Match Tie-break, playing aggressively to triumph after one hour and 35 minutes.

“We are super happy,” Gille said. “It was maybe a little unexpected with the start of the year. We have had a couple of rough months, some adjustments to make and now we start playing on clay and we had an extraordinary week here in Monte-Carlo in one of the most beautiful tournaments in the world. We are just so happy and excited for what is to come.”

Gille and Vliegen have now won eight tour-level doubles titles as a team, with their success in Monte-Carlo their first trophy this season. They are just the second and third Belgians to win an ATP Masters 1000 doubles title after Xavier Malisse won in Indian Wells in 2010.

Gille and Vliegen had never advanced beyond the first round as a team in two previous appearances in Monte-Carlo. Earlier this week they beat Jannik Sinner/Lorenzo Sonego, Ivan Dodig/Austin Krajicek, Kevin Krawietz/Tim Puetz and Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos. They are up 18 spots to No. 6 in the PIF ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.

“We have beaten teams we have never beaten before and then in the final, coming back from a set down, so it is a really nice story,” Vliegen said.

Melo and Zverev were competing in their first tour-level doubles final as a team.

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