Marcelo Melo started the season ranking sixth in the individual doubles rankings. He had been stuck in the third spot since April.
Melo Becomes First Brazilian To Achieve Top Doubles Ranking
Brazil's Marcelo Melo has reached the top of the doubles rankings as the new number one ranked player. Melo slipped past Bob Bryan this week to take that honor. Either Bob or Mike Bryan had been ranked at the top of the doubles rankings each week since September 3, 2012. Melo acknowledged the achievement this week in a story on the ATP website, saying, "I'm living the dream. This is a tough achievement. I am a really lucky guy to be No. 1 with the Bryans still around.”
Career Year For Melo
Melo's rise to the number one spot is well earned with the Brazilian winning a career-best five titles so far this season. He has teamed with three different players in winning those titles in 2014. Melo's partner for most of the last two seasons, Ivan Dodig, partnered with the new number one to win the doubles titles in Acapulco and at the French Open. The French Open title came against the Bryans and marked Melo's first career Grand Slam title.
He won two more titles with South African Raven Klaasen during the Asian swing after the US Open. They paired to win the title at the Tokyo Open and then followed that with a victory at the Shanghai Masters. Melo's fifth title came with Poland's Lukasz Kubot in Vienna last month. The five titles make it an even 18 doubles titles for the Brazilian's ATP career.
Respect Pours In From Other Tour Players
The 32-year-old native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil's achievement has not gone unnoticed by his colleagues on the ATP tour. Since ascending to the top spot, several players have come out to congratulate Melo. Former doublers partner and fellow Brazilian Bruno Soares says it is a large achievement that all Brazilian players are proud of, “We've been representing Brazil worldwide for such a long time at the biggest events. For him now to achieve number one in the world is something really special for him and for us.”
Fellow doubles player Marcin Matkowski echoed Soares' praise of Melo, saying, “The Bryans are still around — the best team in history. For Marcelo to be ranked number one ahead of them is a great accomplishment.”
Even Andy Murray paid homage to Melo's achievement this week, marveling at anyone over taking the Bryans. Murray said of Melo, "He’s been playing really well for a long time now. I think he fully deserves to get to number one. Not many people have overcome the Bryans since I’ve been on tour the last eight, nine years.”
Melo is playing at the Paris Masters event this week. He is teamed up with Ivan Dodig with the pair in as the second seeds in the tournament. They will open play in the second round against Melo's countryman Bruno Soares who is partnered with Alexander Peya.