Dodig-Granollers Make Power Play in Rotterdam
Last week’s biggest points grab on the ATP World Tour came in Rotterdam. The 500-level ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament saw Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers crowned as the doubles champions. It was a huge week for Dodig-Granollers who upset top seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semifinals, before beating Dutch tandem Wesley Koolhoff and Matwe Middelkoop for the titles. It’s a good result for the newly paired Dodig and Granollers who have now played just two tournaments together in 2017. Their first was the Australian Open, where they made the quarterfinals. The win in Rotterdam sling shots them into the #3 spot in the rankings behind The Bryan Brothers at #2 and Henri Kontinen and John Peers, who hold onto the top spot.
You could arguably think that Dodig-Granollers are the top team right now with Kontinen-Peers and the Bryans both riding their spots due solely to their Australian Open results. Kontinen-Peers were the champs in Melbourne, while the Bryans lost to them in the title match. The Bryans are back in action this week in Delray Beach. Kontinen-Peers are again not in action this week.
Rio Open Offers Next Opportunity
As the only 500-level tournament this week, the Rio Open is the focus for doubles teams looking to make a move. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares are the top seeds. The former world number ones are ranked 26th this week and in need of a boost. They started the season well enough with a semifinal in Qatar and a final in Sydney. A first round loss in Melbourne however sunk them low in the rankings after the duo won the doubles titles there in 2016. The second seeds in Rio this week are Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo. They’re just 3-3 on the season. The team that could make some noise again in Rio are two-timpe champs Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. The Colombians are 10-1 all-time at this event and fresh off winning their first title of 2017 last week in Buenos Aires. They are currently ranked 8th, but within a couple hundred points of moving into the top five. Cabal-Farah are in a workable portion of the Rio draw that could see them in prime position to defend their titles on Sunday.
#SanTina #SanTina #SanTina
Does it work like Beetlejuice? Say it three times and they appear?
Every week that goes by without a title for Sania Mirza or Martina Hingis with different partners puts gasoline on the fire of a Mirza-Hingis reunion. Sure, it might only be me that is thinking it right now, but the movement will gain steam. Hingis did well enough I suppose with her newest partner Yung-Jan Chan in Doha last week. They made the semifinals before they were booted out. The same went for Sania Mirza and her regular partner Barbora Strycova. Mirza-Strycova have now played eight tournaments togethter since first pairing up last year after the SanTina split. They do have two titles, but none this year with just one finals appearance in three tournaments.
Hingis of course had paired with Coco Vandweghe originally after the SanTina split in 2016, but with very average to below-average results. Hingis pulled the plug on that partnership earlier in the month and chose Chan to partner up with next. Sure, a semifinal with a brand new partner is a good start, but Hingis has now gone nine tournaments without making a final and has not won a WTA doubles title since pairing with Mirza to win in Rome last May. I think Hingis will be patient with Chan for a bit, but I still maintain that if the clay court season doesn’t yield titles – both Mirza and Hingis might be eager to try what worked in the past.
If the truth was that SanTina split because of a lack of results, their stretch without success in 2016 was far less than what both are experiencing now. Both Hingis and Mirza are playing in Dubai this week with difficult quarterfinal match-ups looming. Chan-Hingis play Hlavackova and Peng who have been one of the new sensations in 2017. Mirza-Strycova face Abigail Spears and Katarina Srebotnik. The same duo that iced them last week in the semis in Doha. Stay tuned.
ATP Team of the Week
The Colombians really thrive when the calendar flips to South American clay. Last year, they did the double in Buenos Airea and Rio de Janeiro. They are half way there again in 2017 after beating Santiago Gonzalez and David Marrero for the Argentina Open titles last week. This is a handy little duo that has now won five clay court titles in the past two years, but just one outside of South America (Munich 2016). They are a testament to hard work and experience, having first teamed up back in 2013. They have made 18 ATP finals together, winning nine titles along the way.
WTA Team of the Week
An easy call as the only champions last week on Doha. These two seem to have a good, natural chemistry as partners this season. This was just their second tournament together with a semifinal showing in Brisbane to start the year. For Spears, it’s definitely been a learning curve after splitting with Raquel Atawo. The two had been one of the longest-standing partnerships since 2010 and a successful one at that. Both however could be retiring after the 2017 season, so it appeared that they wanted to switch things up. Srebotnik took home her 37th career title with last week’s win. For Spears, it was title #19.
This Week’s Rando Team of the Week
Every week, there are several one time partnerships at tournaments due to prior commitments, etc. This week I don’t know what brought these two together, by the random team of the week is in Delray Beach. Tommy Haas and Vasek Pospisil. Haas is playing his first doubles draw since the U.S. Open in 2015 and wouldn’t you know it – they won their opener this week against Steve Darcis and Adrian Mannarino. They battle Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi in the quarterfinals.