Dutch Wesley Koolhof and Croatia's Nikola Mektic capped off their first season on the Tour on the best possible way as they beat Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2 3-6 10-5 to win the Nitto ATP Finals doubles title.
Melzer and Roger-Vasselin lost their serve twice in the first set but in the second set they routinely held on to their serve and claimed one break to force a decider. The two pairs were all tied at five points apiece in the match tie-break, before Koolhof and Mektic won five points in a row to seal the win in the final at The O2 Arena.
“[It is] a dream come true to have qualified here for this event,” Koolhof said during the trophy ceremony, as quoted on the ATP website. “[We] managed to play some very good tennis, made it through the group stage.
Won yesterday, played a very good match yesterday. Played here the final today, which is always a dream, to play every final. But to play the final of the [Nitto ATP] Finals is very big and [we are] extremely happy to have won”.
Mektic says goodbye to Koolhof
Mektic and Koolhof, who made the final at the US Open and the semifinal at the French Open before winning the Nitto ATP Finals, won't be returning as a pair next season. "Wes, obviously thank you very much.
It’s our first title together. Not bad for a first one… It’s been a great tournament for us and amazing way to finish the year,” Mektic said. Melzer was disappointed he and Roger-Vasselin didn't win the title but still he tried to draw positives from their run.
"It was a hell of a ride. We have been fighting hard since Roland Garros, played almost every week to get here and then coming to the Nitto ATP Finals is a great achievement,” Melzer said. “Of course it stings today, and it hurts, but in the end we’re going to look back at being runners-up here.
The Nitto [ATP Finals] is the pinnacle of our sport. Every player wants to be part of this event. I was lucky enough to make it three times and I will always look back and cherish this moment”. Melzer and Roger-Vasselin also won't be playing together next season.
"Thanks Jurgen for this great year. [It was our] last match together today,” Roger-Vasselin said. “We wish we could have the other trophy, but it was a long, long journey to come to London and get to the final. Maybe after a couple of days I will realize it was a good week. But right now, it’s painful”.