Kubot-Melo, Makarova-Ves­nina win dou­bles ti­tles at Wim­ble­don

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

First there was one of the long­est dou­bles fi­nals in Wim­ble­don his­tory. And then there was one of the short­est. The men’s fi­nal was the first match on Cen­tre Court fol­low­ing the women’s sin­gles cham­pi­onship Satur­day. Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 13-11 in a match that lasted 4 hours, 40 min­utes - only 21 min­utes shorter than the long­est men’s dou­bles fi­nal in his­tory.

That was fol­lowed by the women’s dou­bles fi­nal, which Eka­te­rina Makarova and Elena Ves­nina won 6-0, 6-0 over Chan Hao-ching and Mon­ica Niculescu. The last 20 min­utes of the men’s fi­nal was played un­der a closed roof be­cause of dark­ness.

The en­tire women’s match was played in­doors on the Cen­tre Court grass. The roof was closed for the women’s fi­nal ear­lier in the day be­cause of rain, but it was open at the start of the men’s dou­bles match. But at 8:40 p.m., the roof was closed again be­cause of dark­ness. “When we stopped, we know we have to be strong at this mo­ment,” Melo said. “I played the fi­nal here be­fore. I know I have to man­age this if you want to suc­ceed and be a Grand Slam cham­pion.”

With the win, Melo will re­turn to the No. 1 rank­ing in men’s dou­bles. For both Melo and Kubot, it is their sec­ond Grand Slam ti­tle. Melo won the 2015 French Open with Ivan Dodig. Kubot won the 2014 Aus­tralian Open with Robert Lind­st­edt.

The long­est men’s dou­bles fi­nal in Wim­ble­don his­tory was in 1992, when John McEn­roe and Michael Stich beat Jim Grabb and Richey Reneberg 5-7, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17. That match lasted 5:01 and was also the fi­nal with the most games played at 83. The women’s dou­bles fi­nal be­gan at 9:30 p.m. and lasted 55 min­utes.

“We were sit­ting and wait­ing. We knew that it’s go­ing to be five sets. We knew it was go­ing to be drama at the end. We knew it was go­ing to be some­thing,” Ves­nina said. “Martina Navratilova told us, ‘Do you know you girls have to fin­ish till 11?’

“Af­ter the first set, I looked at the clock. OK, we’re still fine.” It was Makarova and Ves­nina’s third Grand Slam ti­tle to­gether. The 2016 Olympic dou­bles cham­pi­ons won the French Open in 2013 and the US Open in 2014.

The re­sult was the first “dou­ble bagel” in the women’s dou­bles fi­nal since 1953, when Shirley Fry and Doris Hart beat Mau­reen Con­nolly and Ju­lia Samp­son 6-0, 6-0. —AP

LON­DON: Elena Ves­nina of Rus­sia, right and her com­pa­triot Eka­te­rina Makarova, hold up their win­ners tro­phies af­ter they de­feated Ro­ma­nia’s Mon­ica Niculescu, and Tai­wan’s Hao-Ching Chan to win the Women’s Dou­bles fi­nal match on day twelve at the Wim­ble­don Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don Satur­day. —AP

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