Saturday, 9 July 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Fail to Defend Wimbledon Doubles Title

July 9, 2022 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić were unable to defend their Wimbledon doubles title after a super tie break in the 5th set decided the match. 

Croatia's best doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić fought to defend their title at Wimbledon today against Australian duo Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell.

Both sides had a difficult journey to the final, and in the semi-final matches, they saved at least one match point. Mektić and Pavić came back twice after a set behind, while Ebden and Purcell managed to come back from 2-0 in sets and save five match points.

This was the first test between these two doubles teams. Mektić and Pavić entered as the second seed of Wimbledon.

The Australian pair were the 14th seed of the tournament and lifted their only trophy together in Houston this year. However, they played in the final of the Australian Open and came back from 2-0 in sets twice at this Grand Slam tournament, so they were by no means harmless.

The first set went to a tie-break at 6-6 and ultimately to the Australian side for 1-0. The Croatian side had three unused break points. 

Mektić and Pavić saved two break points for a 1-0 lead at the start of the second set. After another great fight and another tie break, Mektić and Pavič equalized in sets (1-1).  

Mektić and Pavić entered the third set with a 2-0 advantage. The Croatian duo kept their advantage and decided the set in the tenth game. At first, they failed to take advantage of three set points, the Australians turned it in their favor and got a chance to break, but Mektić and Pavić regained the advantage and used the fifth set point to lead 2-1 in sets. 

The fourth set went 1-1, 2-2, and 3-3 to keep it tight as ever. But the Australian side ultimately made it 6-4 to take it to the fifth set. 

And what a fifth set it was. It was 1-1 to start, then Mektić and Pavić led 3-2, and then 4-2 before the Aussie side tied at 4-4 then 5-5 and 6-6! 

A super tie break ultimately decided the winner, with Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell taking the final set 7-6 (10-2) for the Wimbledon doubles title. 

Mektić and Pavić have won four titles this year, and have a total of 13 titles together. 

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Friday, 8 July 2022

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić Dramatically Advance to Wimbledon Doubles Final!

July 8, 2022 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are in the Wimbledon doubles final - again! 

Croatia doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will defend their Wimbledon title in the doubles competition after defeating Colombians Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the semi-final of the third tennis Grand Slam tournament of the season. Mektić and Pavić won 6:7 (2), 7:6 (0), 4: 6, 6:2, 7:6 (10:4) after four hours and 22 minutes of play.

Mektić and Pavić thus achieved their 11th consecutive victory at Wimbledon and are now just one step away from defending the title.

In the second semi-final, Australians Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell also defeated Briton Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram 3.6, 6:7 (1), 7:6 (9), 6:4, 6:2 after a five-set drama. Interestingly, Ram and Salisbury had five match points in the third set, but they did not use them, and later they lost the match.

Colombians Cabal and Farah won Wimbledon in 2019, during 2020 there was no play on the London grass due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Mektić and Pavić celebrated last year at the All England Club. The last to defend the title in the doubles competition was Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonjić in 2008 and 2009.

The semi-final match was fantastic and full of twists and turns, but with many interesting points. It was an unusual match in which Pavić injured his right hand, Mektić was hit on the lip with a racket, and after the third set there was a break to close the roof, but the mechanism got stuck, and everything was prolonged.

It started great for the Croatian side. Already in the first game, they took away the service from their opponents, but the Colombians immediately retaliated by tying the game at 1:1. By the end of the set, there were no more service breaks, so the thirteenth game was decisive. Farah and Cabal led 2:0, then 4:1 and 5:2 after which the set went to their side.

During the tie-break, Pavić slipped and fell on his hand and sought medical help. Despite the pain, he continued the match, and later he almost did not use his right hand at all except to throw on the serve.

In the second set, both sides held their serves, so the decision again fell in the tie-break, which Pavić and Mektic played perfectly, without losing a point (7:0).

A new accident for the Croatian side happened in the third set at 4:3 for the Colombians. Pavić ran into Mektić with a racket and tore his lip. After finishing the game, Mektić used his mobile phone to check the condition of his teeth and lip, and then took a selfie with Pavić to the delight of the audience. Unfortunately, that set went to the Colombian side at 6:4 with a break in the last game.

After the third set, the organizers decided to close the roof, but the mechanism got stuck, and everything took longer than expected. However, the break was obviously good for the Olympic gold medalists because Pavić and Mektic quickly brought the set to an end (6:2) with two breaks, tying the match at 2:2. 

In the decisive, fifth set, both sides firmly held their serves until the score was 5:4 when the Colombians reached the match point on Mektić's serve. Fortunately, the Croatian side pulled through and took the match to a super tie-break in which the Croatian duo won seven of the next eight points after 3:3.

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Sunday, 11 July 2021

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are Wimbledon Champions!

July 11, 2021 - Croatian tennis players Nikola Metkić and Mate Pavić are the Wimbledon champions! Bravo!

The best tennis pair in the world, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are the winners of this year's Wimbledon. They defeated Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horace Zeballos in the final 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5 after two hours and 43 minutes of play.

For Pavić, this is the third Grand Slam won in the men's doubles competition. In 2018, he won the Australian Open with Oliver Marach, and last year the US Open with Bruno Soares, while Mektić won his first in this competition. For Mektić and Pavić, this was already the 10th final of this season and the eighth title, but convincingly the biggest.

To win the first set, one "break" was enough for Mektic and Pavic, which they achieved in the seventh game when they combined several excellent backhands on Granollers' serve and took a 4-3 lead. The Croatian duo had two chances to take the serve away from Zeballos in the ninth game, but the Argentine got away with excellent serves. However, Pavić calmly brought the first part of the game to an end with a good service game at 5-4.

In the second set, no pair got a chance to take the service away from the opponent, so the winner was decided by a tie-break. And in it, an unusual situation occurred when Zeballos covered the volley on the net only for the main judge Aurelie Tourte to award a point to the Croatian pair because the Argentine was playing with a racket over the net. In addition, Granollers made a double service error on the set point of the Croatian pair, so Mektić and Pavić arrived on the set after winning Wimbledon.

Unfortunately, the beginning of the third set was the worst period of the game for the Croatian combination. First, after two bad reactions on the net, Granollers and Zeballos reached an irreparable advantage. They were also the only two games in which Granollers and Zeballos had break points and both won.

Mektic and Pavic twice threatened to take the serve away from Zeballos in the fourth set, the first time with a 3-2 lead when they were 15-40, but the Argentine first served well and then played an incredible volley. With the 5-4 advantage of the Croatian pair, Mektić and Pavić reached the match point, but the service winner followed again. However, with 6-5 for Mektić and Pavić, our pair started the game with two returns, reached 0-30, and Zeballos offered the second match ball with a missed volley. Another great return followed, but the Spaniard and the Argentine refused to surrender, but one of those defensive shots finally ended up in the net, so the celebration of 32-year-old Mektic and 28-year-old Pavic could begin.

For the Granollers, this was their fourth appearance in the men's doubles final at the "grand slam" and their fourth defeat, while Zeballos lost both of its previous finals.


NIKOLA MEKTIC / MATE PAVIC (CRO / 1) - Marcel Granollers / Horacio Zeballos (Spa / Arg / 4) 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5

Source: Sportske Novosti

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Thursday, 8 July 2021

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić in Wimbledon Doubles Final!

July 8, 2021 - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are in the Wimbledon doubles final!

Croatian tennis players and the first-seed of Wimbledon Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić advanced to the final, defeating the American-British team Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7:6 (6), 6:3, 6:7 (2), 7:6 (5) in the semifinals after three hours and 22 minutes of play.

There were no breaks in the first set, and the decision fell in the thirteenth game, which Mektić and Pavić secured with two mini-breaks. The Croatian duo saved three break points in the third game of the second set and then used the first one with a 3:2 lead.

A great fight took place in the third set. Ram and Salisbury threatened several times, but the decision fell again, as in the first set, in the thirteenth game. However, this time, Ram and Salisbury were better and extended the match at 7:2.

Ram and Salisbury had the break in the fourth set, but the Mektić and Pavić returned immediately in the next game. With a 6:5 lead, on the opponent's serve, Pavić and Mektić were at 0-30, but they failed to finish the match. However, in the thirteenth game, Mektić had a great return, and Pavić served to celebrate. 

Mektić has played only one Grand Slam final in his career, while Pavić has won two Grand Slams in the men's doubles competition, celebrating in 2018 at the Australian Open and the US Open in 2020.

Mektić and Pavić have lost only five matches this season, they have won seven titles, and this is their first joint Grand Slam final. They were defeated in the semifinal match at the Australian Open, while they missed Roland Garros after testing positive for coronavirus.

This was Mektić and Pavić's fourth duel this year against Ram and Salisbury, and the best doubles team in the world won all three previous clashes - in the final of Eastbourne and Rome and the semifinal in Miami. 

In the final, they will play against the Spanish-Argentine team Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. They were better than Italian Simone Bolelli and Argentine Maximo Gonzalez 6:4, 6:4, 7:6 (3) in the semifinal.

Source: HRT

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