Much-needed confidence boosts have been the order of business of late. Doubles Take is here with a look at the latest action on the clay courts.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE ROME
Through the first seven months of 2021, new partners Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic played at a record-setting pace, winning nine titles, among them Wimbledon and Olympic Gold. However, after that triumph in Tokyo, the Croatians went through a once-unthinkable drought, closing out the year without a title. The slump extended through the opening months of this year, leading to them being supplanted from atop the ATP rankings.
Heading into the Rome Masters, the defending champions had two finals on the year to their credit, but had suffered a slew of early-round upsets. Seeded third at the latest edition of one of the tour’s most prestigious events, Mektic and Pavic were almost an afterthought among the title contenders. Perhaps it’s just something about the Italian capital, though, as Mektic and Pavic were dominant through their first four matches, winning them all in straight sets.
In the final, they faced #Isnerman, aka John Isner and Diego Schwartzman, crowd favorites all week. Isner was bidding for his third Masters title of 2022, but in the end, it was the doubles standouts that prevailed in a 12-10 match tiebreak. Mektic and Pavic won their 10th career title together, but perhaps most importantly, their confidence got the proper boost with Roland Garros right around the corner.