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Doubles Take: St. Petersburg, Dallas and more
Whether it’s under a roof or outside in the elements, both tours are seeing plenty of action. Doubles Take is here with a look at the latest results.
Published Feb 15, 2022
A BIG WIN FOR ‘MCKALINSKAYA’
After a week off, the WTA returned to action at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, a 500-level event. After the first round at the indoor tournament, it was anyone’s game as three of the top four seeds dropped their opening match. Veronika Kudermetova and Elise Mertens, the top seeds, withdrew before play even started.
Battling their way to the final from the top half of the draw were Alicja Rosolska and Emma Routliffe. Anna Kalinskaya and Caty McNally, meanwhile, advanced from the bottom portion to set up an unlikely championship match.
The unseeded duos didn’t disappoint: Kalinskaya and McNally won the first set, before Rosolska and Routliffe leveled the match by taking a second-set tiebreak. In the deciding match tiebreak, it was all Kalinskaya and McNally as the Russian-American duo clinched it 10-4 to take the title. Kalinskaya won her third career title, while McNally claimed her fifth.
A DUTCH TREAT
Prior to the tournament in Rotterdam last week, Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop had reached two career finals at the ATP 500-level in his career, but wasn’t able to come away with the title.
The veteran doubles standout was able to make up for that in a major way.
Much to the delight of the home fans, Middelkoop and his countryman, Robin Haase, shined from start to finish in Rotterdam. The wild cards shocked Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, the top seeds, in straight sets in the opening round. Middelkoop and Haase then battled through match tiebreaks in their next two outings to reach the final against another unseeded pair, Lloyd Harris and Tim Puetz. After dropping the first set, the Dutchmen won the second in a tiebreak, then took the decider, 10-5, to clinch the victory.
It’s the fourth career title together for the pair, and first since 2018, the year they won three tournaments together.
Teaming up for the first time this year, Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo started their partnership off with a solid run to the semis in one of the Melbourne tournaments. After that, though, they lost their next two matches Down Under, including a first-round defeat at the Australian Open in a third-set tiebreak.
Entering the Dallas Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour, the duo lived up to their lofty place in the draw, winning their first three matches in straight sets to reach the final. In the championship match, Rojer and Arevalo faced Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, who entered the tournament fresh off a final-round finish in Montpellier, France. For the second week in a row, though, Glasspool and Heliovaara left with the runner-up prize as Arevalo and Rojer picked up another straight-sets win to claim their first title together.
It’s the 30th triumph of Rojer’s stellar career, while Arevalo won his third career title. The victory did lift Arevalo to a personal-best of No. 27 in the men’s standings.
It’s safe to say that Andres Molteni of Argentina is feeling quite at home during the clay-court stretch known as the “Golden Swing.”
For the second week in a row, Molteni and Santiago Gonzalez have won a tournament in Argentina, following up their Cordoba victory with a triumph in Buenos Aires. Unseeded, the duo breezed through their first two matches, then topped Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic—the fourth seeds and defending champions—in a match tiebreak in the semifinals. In the final, Molteni and Gonzalez played arguably their best match over their run as they routed Horacio Zeballos and Fabio Fognini, the second seeds, by a 6-1, 6-1 scoreline.
Molteni and Gonzalez have now won four titles since teaming up for the first time at last year’s US Open and appear poised for more.
Both tours kick off their mini-swings through the Middle East this week. The women are in Dubai, where Ena Shibahara and Shuai Zhang are the top seeds. They’re already through to the quarters and could be in store for an intriguing semifinal matchup as Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic lurk. Aoyama and Shibahara recently reached the semifinals in Melbourne and have been one of the top teams on the WTA Tour the past couple of years. The second seeds are Veronika Kudermetova and Elise Mertens, while the third seeds and defending champions, Alexa Guarachi and Darija Jurak Schreiber, are out, losing to Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in the first round.
The men are playing in Qatar, and top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have already won their opener. Second seeds Ivan Dodig and Michael Venus weren’t so lucky, however, as they lost to Alexander Bublik and Marton Fucsovics. Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos headline a strong field at the Rio Open, the third stop of the “Golden Swing.” The defending champions are followed in the draw by Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, and Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. All eyes, though, will be on Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, unseeded once again, but with all the momentum on their side.
At the Delray Beach Open, Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar aren’t back to defend their title as they decided to play in Brazil this week. Still, the field is loaded, with Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer, the top seeds, looking to keep up their run of good form. Austin Krajicek and Hugo Nys are the second seeds. Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, and Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith—the third and fourth seeds, respectively—are already through to the quarters.