First-Time Team Zeballos/Granollers Into Montreal Final
Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos played each other in doubles on seven occasions entering the Coupe Rogers, but they had never competed as a team. Pairing up has proven a good idea for the Spanish-Argentine duo in Montreal.
Granollers and Zeballos battled past Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6(7), 3-6, 10-7 on Saturday to reach the championship match of the season’s sixth ATP Masters 1000 tournament, moving to 4-0 as a tandem. They won 83 per cent of their first-serve points and claimed three crucial return points in the Match Tie-break to advance after one hour and 40 minutes.
The first-time pair has enjoyed plenty of success individually. Granollers, the 2012 Nitto ATP Finals titlist with Marc Lopez, is a 17-time tour-level doubles winner. Zeballos is a 12-time ATP Tour champion, including a triumph with Nikola Mektic at the BNP Paribas Open.
In the final, Granollers and Zeballos will play Dutchmen Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof, who dismissed Indian Rohan Bopanna and #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6(3), 7-6(7) after one hour and 36 minutes. It is Haase and Koolhof’s second Masters 1000 final as a team this season, as they also made the championship match at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where they lost to Mektic and Franko Skugor.
Koolhof made his third final at this level this year, finishing runner-up alongside reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Haase is primarily a singles player, but he has lifted six ATP Tour doubles trophies with four different partners.
The Dutchmen won 80 per cent of their first-serve points, whereas the flashy Bopanna and Shapovalov only managed to claim 69 per cent of their first-serve points.