Granollers and Zeballos, kings of the Madrid clay

Antonio Arenas Men's Tennis, Mutua News

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos claimed a historic victory over Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic to become men’s doubles champions of the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open. The result means the Spaniard and Argentine succeed Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, winners of the competition in 2019, and are champions in Madrid for the first time thanks to their 1-6, 6-3, 10-8 win after 1 hour and 13 minutes of play.

“First of all, I’d like to thank Mektic and Pavic. You deserve everything you’ve achieved this year”, said Marcel Zeballos of his opponents at the trophy presentation, Zeballos also wanted to “thank Feliciano (López)” for the tournament which, in the words of the Argentine, “was spectacular”.

The champions of the Miami and Monte Carlo Masters 1000 looked very solid from the get-go. Although the Spaniard and Argentine started well in the Manolo Santana Stadium, Mektic and Pavic used their ever-reliable serves to take the first set 6-1. Unlike the semi-final the two teams played in Monte Carlo -where victory went to Mektic and Pavic in the super tiebreak–, the Croats took a 1-0 lead.

In the second set, Granollers and Zeballos notably stepped up a gear to pick up their first break of the match. In 37 minutes, the tournament’s third seeds managed to level the match. The Spaniard and Argentine’s victory came after an extremely close super tiebreak. Having earned several match points, the champions eventually won 10-8.

With trophies in hand, Granollers and Zeballos thanked the fans in the Caja Mágica centre court: “Playing in front of people again is very exciting for us”. The Spanish player is also starting to get a taste for winning at home. As a Davis Cup winner and now a men’s doubles champion at the Mutua Madrid Open in the Spanish capital, Granollers said he is experiencing “some of the most wonderful emotions of my life”.