“The race is still open for that No.1 doubles spot”, as ATP Finals heats up
A number of teams are still in the race to become year-end number one on the ATP doubles rankings, as the Nitto Finals reaches crunch time.
Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic have already booked their place in the semi-finals in London to stake a claim for the end of year top spot.
The Dutch-Croatian pairing defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram – another pair aiming for the number one ranking – 7-6 (5) 6-0 to move to a 2-0 record in Group Mike Bryan. The fifth seeds beat German third seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in the opening match on Sunday for Koolhof’s first ATP Finals win.
“[The nerves] feel good so far, I would say”, Koolhof said. “For me, it’s my debut year and so far things have been going great. The first match was a very close one. Let’s hope we’ll be on top at the end of the weekend”.
Meanwhile, Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos edged closer to the semi-finals with a 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 10-8 victory over top seeds Bruno Soares and Mate Pavic. After defeating John Peers and Mark Venus earlier in the week, the fourth seeds will qualify automatically from Group Bob Bryan if Peers and Venus beat Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in Wednesday’s evening session.
Despite the loss, Pavic and Soares can still qualify from the group stages and end the year as the world number one team. “Everybody is in play to be No. 1, depending on the results,” said Pavic in an on-court interview. “I think that gives an extra thing to the tournament and obviously every match is important”.
With Ram and Salisbury facing off against Krawietz and Mies in a group decider on Thursday, the finale to the ATP Finals doubles competition promises to be an extremely close contest as the number one ranking beckons.
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