Italians Reach Doubles Final

Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini reached their second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Saturday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters as they defeated second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 7-6(6), 6-3 in the semi-finals.

“It’s a great win,” said Fognini. “They always reach the last stages of every event and are a tough team.  It’s like playing at home here; Simone lives in Monaco and I live near Sanremo, which is just across the Italian border.”

Bolelli and Fognini have been the team to beat in 2015 on the ATP World Tour. They currently lead the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings after winning their first Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Herbert/Mahut) and finishing runners-up at the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells (l. to Pospisil/Sock).

“Now the [Barclays] ATP [World Tour] Finals are getting closer; it is our big goal to qualify,” said Bolelli. “Hopefully we will be seeded in our next events in Madrid and Rome as that will help a lot.”

With the support of the crowd at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, the Italians advanced to the final in 78 minutes. After edging the first set tie-break, the Italians benefited from three unforced errors from Melo in the eighth game of the second set to open up a 5-3 lead. Bolelli then served out victory.

In Sunday’s final, they will face top seeds and four-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan, who made short work of fourth seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic with a 6-4, 6-2 victory in just 49 minutes.

“We played really well,” said Mike Bryan. “We knew we had to play our best tennis to advance to the finals. We’re looking forward to playing Bolelli and Fognini, they’ve had a great start to the year. It’s going to be another barnburner tomorrow.”

“We’ve had great success here,” said Bob Bryan. “We love the conditions. It’s obviously one of the most beautiful tournaments in the world. We like the fans and the hotel and the balls really suit our game. We’re looking forward to our second match-up against the Italians. It’s going to be a hard-fought battle. They;ve had a great year so far; they’ve only lost a few matches. Hopefully we can cool them off, but it’s going to be a tough task.”

The Bryans are chasing their third ATP World Tour title of the season, following victories in Delray Beach and at the Masters 1000 in Miami. They have a 29-7 record at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, lifting the title for the fourth time last year (d. Dodig/Melo).

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