Koolhof/Haase Reach First Team Final

Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof advanced to their first tour-level final as a team on Saturday, beating Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 7-6(4), 6-4 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

The Dutch duo, competing together for just the second time, converted seven of 10 break points to reach the championship match after one hour and 37 minutes. Haase and Koolhof’s only previous appearance as a team came at last year’s Libema Open, where they fell in the opening round to eventual champions Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor.

Koolhof has now reached back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 doubles finals. The 29-year-old also advanced to the Miami Open presented by Itau championship match alongside #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (l. to Bryan/Bryan). Koolhof is aiming to lift his second tour-level title of the year, after partnering Marcus Daniell to the Brisbane International (d. Ram/Salisbury) trophy in January.

The unseeded duo led Murray and Soares by a break on four occasions in a tight first set, before Haase fired an ace up the T to grab the opening set in a tie-break after 51 minutes. It was Haase and Koolhof’s turn to come from behind in the second set, recovering from a break down twice before Haase fired a backhand return winner at 5-4, on deuce deciding point, to claim victory.

Murray and Soares were aiming to reach their second final at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. The third seeds reached the championship match in 2016, when Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut recovered from a set down to defeat the British-Brazilian tandem 4-6, 6-0, 10-6.

Haase and Koolhof will meet Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor in Sunday’s final. The seventh seeds defeated Argentina Open champions Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-3 in 67 minutes. Mektic and Skugor, who are competing together for the first time since the 2017 Swiss Indoors this week, won 78 per cent of service points (36/46) and did not face a break point en route to victory.

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