Koolhof and Mektic end debut season with ATP Finals doubles crown

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Nikola Mektic (left) and Wesley Koolhof celebrate winning the ATP Finals doubles title
Nikola Mektic (left) and Wesley Koolhof celebrate winning the ATP Finals doubles title

Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic beat Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 to claim the ATP Finals doubles trophy at the end of their first season together in London on Sunday.

It was a case of third time lucky for the Dutch-Croatian fifth seeds, who lost their first two finals, in Marseille and at the US Open, earlier in the year.

One of the key features of Koolhof and Mektic's campaign at the O2 Arena was the consistent success they had with their returns.

The pair, who joined forces in January, continued that trend in the opening game of Sunday's final as Mektic ripped a forehand return winner down the line to break serve.

Koolhof and Mektic fired low returns at 3-1 to earn a double-break advantage and clinched the set with a love service hold.

Austrian-French seventh seeds Melzer and Roger-Vasselin earned the only break of the second set in the fourth game, which proved enough to take the final into a match tie-break.

In the decider, Mektic took the initiative. He connected on multiple returns and played with composure at the net to reach 9-5.

On the pair's first championship point, Melzer struck a double fault to end the match.

Croatia's Mektic said the title was a "dream come true".

"It's our first title together, not bad for a first one," he said. "It's been a great tournament for us and amazing way to finish the year."

jw/mw