London, Nov 19 : Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo finished their ATP Tour season and four-year partnership with an impressive win on Thursday, as they ended Dutch Wesley Koolhof and Croat Nikola Mektic’s unbeaten start to the ATP Finals.
The 2017 finalists saved three of four break points to defeat Koolhof and Mektic 6-4, 6-7(2), 10-8 in one hour and 44 minutes. Kubot of Poland and Melo of Brazil were eliminated from semi-final contention on Tuesday, but they raised their games to earn 200 FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings points. The eighth seeds finished their fourth straight team appearance at The O2 with a 1-2 round-robin record.
On the other hand, Andrey Rublev ended his debut appearance at the ATP Finals on Thursday with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Dominic Thiem. The Russian, who was eliminated from semi-final contention on Tuesday, won 80 per cent of first-serve points (28/35) to finish his breakthrough ATP Tour campaign with a 41-10 record.
Rublev has now won three consecutive matches against Thiem and leads his ATP Head2Head series against the Austrian for the first time (3-2).
After the match, both Kubot and Melo were emotional. Melo confirmed it was their last match as a tandem on Instagram, writing: “Thanks Kubi! We had many good emotions during our partnership, today was not different. We end our team but we keep friends forever!”
“Here of course is a very special tournament. Of course the [Nitto ATP] Finals, we do everything to be here. [It represents] achievement in life, achievement as a team, and I’m glad I could be here many times,” Melo said in an interview.
“For us to be at a place that has the best eight singles players and best eight doubles players is very special. Today was another one. It was very special. Unfortunately we did not qualify [for the semi-finals], but we finished with a win.”
Kubot and Melo end the season with a 21-13 team record. The Polish-Brazilian tandem claimed two ATP 500 titles this year in Acapulco and Vienna. They lifted 14 tour-level trophies during their partnership, including at 2017 Wimbledon and at four ATP Masters 1000 events.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.