The season is only three months old, but there has been plenty of excitement on the doubles court with one team dominating early and a pair of legends showing that they may have another No. 1 push in them.
Marach/Pavic Begin Year With Tremendous Winning Streak
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic just missed out on a spot in last year’s Nitto ATP Finals, serving as alternates in the event before stepping in to win their only match against Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, denying the twins a spot in the semi-finals.
But Marach/Pavic showed early on this year that they have no intentions of serving as alternates at The O2 again — they want to qualify out right. The Austrian-Croatian duo began their 2018 campaign on a 17-match winning streak, winning their first three tournaments of the season (Doha, Auckland, Australian Open) before falling in the championship match at Rotterdam.
And while the 24-4 Marach/Pavic have not won an event since losing that final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, semi-final and quarter-final appearances in Indian Wells and Miami, respectively, show that they are a force to be reckoned with on the ATP World Tour this year.
Could The Bryans Make Another No. 1 Run?
It is no secret that Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have set the standard for doubles success on the ATP World Tour throughout their careers, finishing atop the year-end ATP Doubles Rankings on 10 occasions. But last season, they finished with only two tour-level titles, their lowest mark since 2000, they year before they lifted their first trophy.
But the twins are back in form again, and appear ready to make another push for the top. They finished the opening quarter of the season with their record 115th title, claiming their fifth Miami Open presented by Itau trophy. It was their record 37th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 triumph.
The brothers had also advanced to the final at their previous two events (Acapulco, Indian Wells), and have now won 12 of 14 matches as the ATP World Tour shifts to the European red clay. The Bryans are second in the ATP Doubles Race To London, trailing only Marach/Pavic.
Early-Season Results Set Up Exciting Clay Swing
Believe it or not, just three of the teams that qualified for the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals are currently in position to do so again. Henri Kontinen and John Peers, who won the season finale in 2016 and 2017, will look to bounce back after faltering in five of their past six matches, including a first-round loss at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Irving, Texas, last month.
But they are not the only ones searching for form. Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the top-ranked doubles players in the world, are currently ninth in the Race. Those two teams making a push to put their names back in the conversation will surely make for an exciting journey on the red clay.