Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo have clinched the year-ending world number one after defeating Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers 7-6(2), 6-4 in their debut year as a team.
Top seeds take the first set via tiebreaker
The opening two service games went the server quite comfortably. From 15-40 behind, Kubot/Melo two points to send the game to a decider, which was also a breakpoint in their favor following a monster return from the Pole. But Granollers survived the game coming up clutch on serve to stay ahead early on at 1-2.
Both teams then momentarily found a rhythm on serve, with the next four going with the server as neither team looked as if they were going to be broken down with the score tied at 3-4 in favor of the seventh seeds. After missing the first serve, Kubot's second hit straight into the net as he gifted Dodig/Granollers their first breakpoint chances of the match, two of them.
After sending the game to deuce, the top seeds then got away with big chance to hold for 4-4 after the Croatian sent a volley into the net following a closely fought rally. With both teams remaining relatively solid on serve, it was no surprise that the first set would be won on the tiebreak.
The top seeds raced away to a 5-1 lead then grabbed five break points with the Spaniard smacking a forehand long. An excellent down the line serve won the seventh seeds only their second point of the breaker as Kubot couldn't find a strong enough return. An excellent return down the line from the Brazilian wrapped up the first set winning 11 of the final 13 points.
Kubot/Melo clinch debut win
With the momentum firmly in the top seeds side, they aimed to make it count. Up 2-1, the Brazilian/Pole pairing played a perfect game, breaking their opponents to love before consolidating to love as they lost just the two points in the set thus far en route to a 4-1 lead.
The team of Dodig/Granollers were constantly being put under threat. In the following game, they were forced to save two break points as they survived a tricky test to stay in touch with the top seeds at 4-2. However, they would then earn two hard-fought breakpoints of their own in the next game as the 34-year-old sent a simple volley long of the baseline.
One breakpoint would come and go for the seventh seeds but they persevered and got luck thrown their way with Melo faltering on serve. Granollers impressively served to draw level, losing just the point on serve for 4-4. The team of Kubot/Melo put the pair under severe pressure, forcing the seventh seeds to serve to stay in the match.
But the pressure got too much for them and the top seeds raised their level and pace of the match to earn triple matchpoints as Dodig got tight on serve. After missing yet another first serve, Kubot pounced on the Croatian's second serve, placing a well-hit forehand to clinch the match and the year-end top spot.