Matos/Meligeni Rodrigues Alves Battle To Santiago Title
After recent struggles on the South American clay, Rafael Matos and Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves ended the Golden Swing in style on Saturday.
The Brazilians clinched their second ATP Tour title in Santiago, coming through two tie-breaks to defeat Andre Goransson and Nathaniel Lammons 7-6(8), 7-6(3) in one hour, 52 minutes, and claim victory at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open.
After taking the title, Matos acknowledged that a good off-court relationship was helping the pair’s on-court performance. “It was a very good week,” he said. “I’m very happy with this second title playing with Felipe, he’s a good friend of mine, I always enjoy playing with him and the time outside the court too. I’m just happy.”
Matos and Meligeni Rodrigues Alves had won just one match across the tournaments in Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, but they found their form in Santiago to lift their first trophy since their sensational title run on tour-level debut in Cordoba in 2021.
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Goransson and Lammons, hunting their first ATP Tour title as a pair, looked to be heading to the first set at 5-4, 40/15 on their own serve, but Matos and Meligeni Rodrigues Alves dug deep to save three set points and reclaim the break. The top seeds then fended off another set point for Goransson and Lammons before taking the tie-break 10/8.
The second set was even tighter, but the crucial moment came with Matos and Meligeni Rodrigues Alves serving at 5-5. The Brazilians saved the only break points of the set and took the momentum with them into another tie-break, reeling off four points from 3/3 to take the title on their Santiago debut.
Matos and Meligeni Rodrigues Alves produced a solid match on serve, winning 80 per cent (47/59) of points behind their first delivery, as they avenged defeat in their only previous meeting with Goransson and Lammons in the final of the 2021 Biella ATP Challenger Tour event.
The Brazilians were even more delighted to win a title after their participation in the tournament almost never happened. “It was actually a pretty crazy week,” said Meligeni Rodrigues Alves. “Rafa could only come to Chile on Wednesday and we didn’t play our best tennis in the first match, but we wanted so bad to win and we were improving every match, fighting, and I think at the end of the week we played our best match in the final.
“I’m really happy to play with Rafa again [and] get the second title together.”