Polasek/Dodig Capture Beijing Crown
Unseeded duo claims second ATP Tour trophy
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek continued their impressive start as a team at the China Open on Sunday, beating defending champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3, 7-6(4) to lift their second ATP Tour title as a pairing.
Dodig and Polasek, competing in just their seventh event together, improved to 2-1 in ATP Tour championship matches after snapping Kubot and Melo’s seven-match Beijing win streak in 90 minutes. The unseeded pairing rallied from 2-5 down in the second set and saved a set point at 3-5 before taking the title in the tie-break.
“All the week we had a good time. We played good matches,” said Dodig. “The final was a really exciting match. It was very nice to play in front of a lot of people. We really enjoyed the quality of the match, [it was] very high.
“The first set was really, really good from our side. We started good. The second set we also made the break in beginning. We [had the match] under control. Then they played one really good game, broke back… In the end we were a little bit better in the crucial moments. I think we deserved to win this final even though the match could go both ways.”
Dodig and Polasek improve to 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Kubot and Melo. The Croatian-Slovakian team also defeated their final opponents en route to their maiden trophy as a pair at the Western & Southern Open in August.
Dodig now owns a 15-15 record in ATP Tour doubles finals after picking up his fourth ATP Tour trophy of the season. Alongside the 34-year-old’s trophies with Polasek, Dodig also captured crowns in Montpellier and Lyon (w/Roger-Vasselin). Polasek, who owns an almost identical record in tour-level finals (14-15), also lifted the Kitzbuhel trophy with Philipp Oswald this year.
“We can really appreciate the way we played,” said Polasek. “We practised hard [in the] past 10 days. We already spent the week in Chengdu. I think we came here really prepared. We played well from the first match… It was a really hard [route to the title], beating Klaasen and Venus, Murray and Skupski and Kubot and Melo in the finals. Even the singles guys, Thiem and Fognini.
“We had a tough draw and had to fight through every single match. We are happy about the way we performed. It wasn’t like one match, it was four good matches in a row.”
Kubot and Melo were aiming to become only the second pairing to win back-to-back doubles trophies in the Chinese capital. In 2010, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan became the only team to achieve that feat in tournament history.
Dodig and Polasek receive 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split $228,110 in prize money. Kubot and Melo gain 300 points and share $111,660.