A year to remember: Girafa hits heady heights


French Open provided the backdrop to a changing of the guard at the top of the men’s individual doubles world rankings as Brazilian Marcelo Melo ended a run of more than three years in the rankings penthouse by the Bryan brothers.

The 6ft 8in ‘Girafa’ won consecutive titles in Tokyo, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris before appearing at the ATP Finals at the O2 alongside regular partner Ivan Dodig.

Melo follows in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, who became world No.1 in singles in December. Like Kuerten, a three-time French Open champion, Melo won his first men’s doubles Grand Slam at Roland Garros, winning the title in June with Dodig.

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