Lopez/Lopez Reach Monte-Carlo Doubles Final

Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez advanced to their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Saturday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. They will now face Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas in a bid to win their third tour-level team title.

The Spaniards reached their fourth title match (2-1 overall) after they defeated second-seeded French duo and defending champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-1, 7-6(4) in 78 minutes. Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo were the last Spanish team to capture the prestigious title in 2008, when they defeated Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

Feliciano Lopez has a 3-9 record in doubles finals, while Marc Lopez is 13-16 lifetime (3-3 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals). The pair clinched the Roland Garros title (d. Bryan-Bryan) in June 2016.

Lopez and Lopez secured their first break on a deciding deuce point on Mahut’s serve at 1-1, when Herbert struck a volley into the net. The Spaniards power helped them to break Herbert to love for a 4-1 lead, and they converted their second set point chance when Marc Lopez forced a Mahut backhand volley error to clinch the 23-minute opener.

Feliciano Lopez recovered from 0/30 to win the first game of the second set and the Spaniards went on to break Herbert for a 3-1 lead, when Herbert hit a backhand volley into the net at 30/40. Once Lopez and Lopez led 4-1, the French duo sparked into life with clever inter-play and Herbert, particularly, finding his range on the forehand. They clinched Feliciano Lopez’s serve to 30 for 4-5, when an aggressive Herbert struck a backhand volley winner.

Team Lopez gained a 3/1 lead in the tie-break, but were quickly pinned back. When Mahut served at 4/5, Marc Lopez struck a forehand return down the line that Herbert mis-timed on the volley. Herbert then committed another volley error on match point and Team Lopez improved to a 6-6 record on the season.

Last week, Marc Lopez reached the Grand Prix Hassan II doubles final with another Spaniard Marcel Granollers, losing to Dominic Inglot and Mate Pavic 6-4, 2-6, 11-9.

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