Doubles Take looks at what the best teams in the business are up to on the court.


Who could have predicted what Grand Slam play would look like in “the bubble”? Would players be up for the pressure of contesting a major so close to tennis’ restart? Could an unseeded team shake up the world to capture one of the game’s biggest prizes?

For those last two questions, the answers are yes and yes.

Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva, two veterans of the WTA Tour playing together for the first time, claimed the women’s title, defeating Nicole Melichar and Yifan Xu, the third seeds, in straight sets in the final.


Among the men, Bruno Soares and Mate Pavic—a couple of former Grand Slam champs and world No. 1s who just teamed up last year—lived up to their billing as one of the most dangerous floaters in the draw. The duo defeated Nikola Mektic and Wesley Koolhof for their first major title together.

It was a tournament that saw both of the top-seeded teams in each draw—defending men’s champs Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, and Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic—unable to make it past the second round, further opening things up for the other pairings.


After falling to Siegemund and Zvonareva in the first round of the US Open, Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi headed for the clay-court tournament in Istanbul, Turkey. Seeded first, the former college standouts barely made it out of the first round, but settled into a groove after that.


Krawczyk and Guarachi defeated Ellen Perez and Storm Sanders in the final to win their second career title together after Gstaad two years ago.


After a solid run at the Western & Southern Open with fellow American Steve Johnson, Austin Krajicek’s time in the New York bubble came to an end when he and Franko Skugor lost in the opening round of the US Open. The duo, who started playing together this year, were seeded fourth in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and were tested from the first ball on, surviving match tiebreaks in their first three contests to reach the final.

There, they faced Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, the top seeds, and managed to come through in two hard-fought sets.


It’s the first title together for the American-Croatian pair, and also marks another milestone for Krajicek: It’s his first ATP title on clay.


The tours are sharing the same venue once again this week in Rome, the ATP Masters 1000/WTA Premier 5 clay-court tournament. Two-time defending champs Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah are the top seeds on the men’s side and have advanced to the second round. The exceptionally deep draw has already seen a couple of upsets: Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, this year’s Australian Open winners, lost their opener to the wild-card pairing of Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori. 2018 French Open champs Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, the sixth seeds, fell in a match tiebreak to Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff, one of the dangerous floaters at the tournament.

On the women’s side, the top four seeds—led by Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova—all received a first-round bye. In their opener, Hsieh and Strycova will face former French Open women’s doubles finalist Makoto Ninomiya and her partner, Nao Hibino. Three of the four women that contested the US Open final are slated to play in Rome—albeit with different partners. Laura Siegmund and Vera Zvonareva, the winners in New York, are teaming up with Oksana Kalashnikova and Sharon Fichman, respectively, while Nicole Melichar is playing with Demi Schuurs. That combo is seeded fourth in Rome.