Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic extended their winning streak in 2018 and are riding on the crest of a wave in Melbourne.

The seventh-seeded team from Austria and Croatia used their collective experience on Thursday to book a place in the Australian Open final after overcoming Japan’s Ben Mclachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) in two hours and 26 minutes.

Marach and Pavic battled back from a 1/3 deficit in the deciding set tie-break, putting Mclachlan and Struff under pressure to commit four groundstroke errors – two forehand and two backhand – as the seventh seeds won six of the next seven points.

Marach, 37, and 24-year-old Pavic are now 13 matches unbeaten this year. Prior to arriving in Australia, Marach and Pavic began the 2018 ATP World Tour season with back-to-back trophies at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Murray/Soares) and the ASB Classic (d. Mirnyi/Oswald).

The duo, with a 3-3 record in finals, will now look to draw on their experience of competing in the 2017 Wimbledon final, which they lost to Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 13-11 in the fifth set.

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They await the winners of six-time former champions and sixth-seeded Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan or No. 11 seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia.

Marach’s previous-best result at Melbourne Park was a run to the 2009 semi-finals with Kubot, when the pair lost to Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles. Pavic had only once won a match in four visits – on his 2014 debut (w/Draganja).

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