Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos improved to 2-0 in Green Group doubles play on Tuesday at the Nitto ATP Finals. The fourth-seeded Spanish/Argentine team defeated top-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-4, 7-6(4) in one hour and 41 minutes at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.
Granollers and Zeballos, who are now 26-11 together this season with two ATP Masters 1000 titles, will qualify for the semi-finals if sixth seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek beat eighth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau on Tuesday night.
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Two double faults from Mektic in the third game provided Granollers and Zeballos the first break and through clear tactics of well-placed serving, they barely put a foot wrong in the 36-minute opener.
The match came alive at 3-3 in the second set, when Granollers saved a deciding Deuce point, then Pavic saved three break points from 15/40 in the next game. At 4-5, Zeballos saved two set points with big serves from 30/40 and it was a Granollers volley winner that closed out victory in the tie-break.
Granollers and Zeballos won Masters 1000 trophies in 2021 at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Mektic/Pavic) and at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Johnson/Krajicek). They were also finalists at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco (l. to Skupski/Skupski) and at Wimbledon (l. to Mektic/Pavic).
Mektic and Pavic, who are 1-1 in round-robin play in Turin, have a 60-12 match record this year. The pair, who have already finished at year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings, have won nine tour-level titles as a team in 2021.