Croatia's Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have won the Rome Masters doubles title as they beat Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the final 6-4 7-6 (4). Mektic and Pavic failed to convert a break point in the opening game but broke Ram and Salisbury in the fifth game.
Mektic and Pavic then routinely served out for the opener in the 10th game. As not a single break point was seen in the second set -- the set went into a tie-break -- in which Mektic and Pavic opened a 6-0 lead before realizing their fourth match point.
Title No. 6 in 2021 for Mektic and Pavic
Mektic and Pavic finished runners-up at the Madrid Masters last week but lifted their sixth title of the season this week in Rome. Now it's all set for the singles final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
"I did the thing that I had to do today,” Nadal said in his post-match interview after beating Reilly Opelka in the semifinal. “It is not an easy, beautiful match to play and, [against] a player like Reilly, [you aren’t going to] have rhythm.
You know you are going to have just a few options on your return and you know he can play very aggressive from the baseline. That is what happened at the beginning of the match. He had some options [for the] break and it was super important for me to save those moments”.
Nadal is set to play his 13th Rome final. "I did a lot of things well [and played with a] good spirit during all the week,” Nadal said. “[There are] a lot of positive things I did on court this week and it is important for my confidence to be back in such an important final like this one”.
Djokovic spent around five hours on the court on Saturday. "I don't have much time [to recover], I played a lot of tennis," Djokovic said. "Hopefully I'll have fresh legs, because that's what I definitely will need. It's necessary in order to have a chance against Rafa.
"He also had some tough matches, obviously myself, with rain delays and everything that has happened today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be fresh and I'll give it all."