A slew of veteran teams and a group of new high-profile duos highlight the doubles field for the 2021 Australian Open.
Many of the pairs are familiar, with the likes of 2019 year-end No. 1 team Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah, defending champions Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury and 2019 titlists Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut among the top seeds.
But there have been shake-ups among the world’s best teams that will see new duos trying to make their mark in Melbourne next February.
Croatian Mate Pavic, part of the year-end No. 1 team in 2020 with Bruno Soares, will partner countryman Nikola Mektic, who won the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals trophy alongside Wesley Koolhof. Looking for a new partner, Soares found one in a familiar face: Jamie Murray. The duo finished atop the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings in 2016 and won the Australian Open title that year.
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo amicably split after a successful partnership that lasted more than four years. Kubot will partner Koolhof. Melo will play the Australian Open with Romanian Horia Tecau. But in the longterm, the Brazilian will compete alongside Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer, Tecau’s former longtime partner.
Other new teams to keep an eye on in Australia include Henri Kontinen/Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Raven Klaasen/Ben McLachlan. Kontinen is a two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion (w/John Peers) and Roger-Vasselin made the final at the season finale this year with Jurgen Melzer, who is retiring.
There are plenty of singles stars competing in the Australian Open doubles draw, too. Leading the way is World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman, who will play with fellow Argentine Federico Coria. Canadian Denis Shapovalov will compete at the season’s first major with countryman Vasek Pospisil, who was named Comeback Player of the Year in the 2020 ATP Awards.
The top-ranked Aussie singles player, Alex de Minaur, will play with countryman Matt Reid, and Rolex Paris Masters champions Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz will try to translate their French success to Melbourne Park.
Other pairs to watch for include two-time Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies, 2020 Nitto ATP Finals competitors Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos and 2019 Western & Southern Open winners Ivan Dodig/Filip Polasek.