Mackenzie McDonald & Marcelo Melo Win Tokyo Title in Team Debut | ATP Tour

Mackenzie McDonald and Marcelo Melo finished a dream debut week as a couple via claiming the Tokyo doubles name on Sunday. The American-Brazilian duo received its 2d Match Tie-break of the week to defeat 3rd seeds Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez 6-4, 3-6, 10-4 on the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.

“It was a long time since I played here in Tokyo,” mentioned Melo, who received the 2015 name in his ultimate look on the ATP 500 tournament, along Raven Klaasen. “I always wanted to come back. I’m very happy to get another title here in Tokyo.”

“First doubles title for me,” added McDonald, “so it’s pretty special to do it here in Japan.”

Each of the primary two units had been determined via a unmarried, early destroy. The groups switched ends for the primary time in the Match Tie-break knotted at 3/3, sooner than McDonald and Melo received 4 immediately issues to take command. Melo ruled on the web to spark the an important run, with McDonald including an exclamation level with a go back winner for 7/3.

After two giant serves from the Brazilian introduced up a number of fit issues, sooner than the pair clinched the name in taste. Melo was once in a position to model a lob from a defensive reflex volley, and he then put the following ball strategy to protected the name.

“It was a very tough match,” mentioned Melo, who reached out to McDonald to shape the brand new partnership. “[Matos and Vega Hernandez] are enjoying superb. They simply received a name ultimate week [in Sofia], they have got performed in combination. I believe it was once necessary for me and Mackie to play the similar manner as we had been enjoying for the reason that starting, center of attention on what we need to do.

“Today was tricky. A Match Tie-break, you never know what can happen. But we played very good. Mackie helped a lot, he played very good, as well. We are very happy. It’s not easy to play for the first time.”

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McDonald, 27, earned his first ATP Tour name in singles or doubles with the victory. He was once showing in his first doubles ultimate, having additionally competed in the Washington, D.C. singles ultimate in 2021.

“I haven’t played a lot of doubles with doubles guys, so it’s actually really nice playing with him,” he mentioned of the partnership with Melo. “His serve is good, he wants to play ‘I’ formation, he cleans up at the net… He kind of complements where I don’t fill all the holes. It worked out pretty well with that. It’s nice playing with a guy that can win points and put the ball away.”

Melo, 39, clinched his thirty sixth tour-level doubles name — and primary since 2020 — in his seventieth ultimate. In addition to his 2015 Tokyo name with Klaasen, he additionally reached the 2014 ultimate with Ivan Dodig.

Following the fit, he mentioned his love for Japan: “I feel very good here mainly because of the Japanese people,” he mentioned. “They are very respectful, they are very nice. You go in the streets. you see everybody respects each other. The food of course is amazing. I love sushi, I love the food.”

Matos and Vega Hernandez had been looking for back-to-back titles after their trophy run in Sofia ultimate week. They have received 4 titles at the season, with their different victories coming in Marrakech (their group debut), Mallorca and Bastad.

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