Belgrade: No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic, Mate Pavic suffer shock defeat in final



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Belgrade: No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic, Mate Pavic suffer shock defeat in final

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic failed to win their first title of the year after suffering a surprise defeat to Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar in the Belgrade final. Mektic and Pavic, who won nine titles last year, were the top-seeded duo in Belgrade and the top favorites to win it all but failed in their bid as Behar and Escobar claimed a 6-2 3-6 10-7 win in the final.

Mektic and Pavic led 2-1 after the opening three games, before Behar and Escobar claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to take the first set in style. After winning the first set, Behar and Escobar started the second set with a break.

However, their second set lead was short-lived as Mektic and Pavic broke back in the second game to level the set to one-game apiece. Behar and Escobar had a good chance to go up by a break again but Mektic and Pavic saved two break points in the third game to take a 2-1 lead in the second set.

After saving two break points, Mektic and Pavic broke Behar and Escobar in the sixth game and then held on to their serve the rest of the set to force a decider.

Mektic and Pavic didn't deliver in when it mattered the most

The two teams were tied at 7-7 after the opening 14 points of the match tie-break but then Behar and Escobar won three points in a row to seal a three-set win and clinch the Belgrade title.

It was the first title of the season for Behar and Escobar, who earlier this year ended runners-up in Adelaide. Elsewhere, Kevin Krawietz and Andres Mies defeated Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski to win the Barcelona title.6-7 (3) 7-6 (5) 10-6.

Koolhof and Skupski appeared to be cruising toward easily winning the first set but Krawietz and Mies recovered from a 5-1 deficit to force a tie-break. However, Blowing a double-break lead didn't impact Koolhof and Skupski, who dominated the tie-break to still win the opener.

In the second set, Krawietz and Mies missed out on a set point in the 10th game but came up big in the second set tie-break to force a decider. After winning a tight second set, Krawietz and Mies dominated the match tie-break to complete a comeback win. It was the first title for Krawietz and Mies since the 2020 French Open.