Competing in their fourth final in as many clay-court tournaments this year, the fourth seeds overcame Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 to capture their second ATP Masters 1000 trophy as a pair. Last year’s Coupe Rogers titlists made the crucial move at 8/8 in the Match Tie-break, earning championship point when Zeballos struck a forehand return winner. Granollers clinched the trophy with a pinpoint forehand volley.
“This is one of the best moments in my career,” said Zeballos. “This tournament has a lot of history. I watched it for many years, since I was a little kid, so this tournament is really important. Winning Rome is a huge thing for me and for sure for Marcel too, so what can I say? I am so happy. You could see it in our faces when we finished the match.”
Granollers and Zeballos improve to 16-1 on clay this year. The Spanish-Argentine duo claimed back-to-back trophies at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires and the Rio Open presented by Claro in February. Granollers and Zeballos also reached the championship match at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel last week (l. to Krajicek/Skugor).
This is Granollers’ second Rome crown from four finals in the Italian capital. The 34-year-old claimed the title in 2012 alongside Marc Lopez and finished as a runner-up in 2015 (w/M. Lopez) and 2017 (w/Dodig). Granollers levels his tour-level finals record at 21-21.
“Before the first clay tournament of the year in Buenos Aires, I was a long time without winning one match on clay. Last year, I didn’t win a match in all of the clay season,” said Granollers. “After Buenos Aires and Rio, I think we felt very good on court playing together. We both [grew up] playing on clay when we were young and we feel very good on clay. I think we can play very good and we are very happy to win our third title of the year on clay.”
Zeballos extends his unbeaten record to 3-0 in Masters 1000 finals. Last year, alongside his victory with Granollers in Montreal, the Argentine also was victorious at the BNP Paribas Open with Nikola Mektic.
Chardy and Martin were attempting to claim their first Masters 1000 trophy. The Frenchmen own a 3-3 team record in tour-level championship matches, with their most recent title coming on clay at last year’s Millennium Estoril Open.
Granollers and Zeballos earn 1000 FedEx ATP Doubles Ranking points and split €58,860 in prize money. Chardy and Martin collect 600 points and share €49,000.