2017 is definitely a season to remember for Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in their first full year together as a team. After enduring a tough start to their partnership, 10 months down the line and they would finish the year as the world number one pair with six major titles including winning a Grand Slam.
Although the pair endured a 4-5 win-loss record in the opening two months of their partnership, they did finish with a 51-16 record come to the end of 2017. The pair won a 250, 500, three Masters 1000, and a Grand Slam title. Without a doubt, they were the team to beat this season.
The Brit/Brazilian continued the trend of becoming the third team to win three Masters titles for the third consecutive year following on from Bob and Mike Bryan, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. In three of their matches en route to the semifinals at the Miami Open, the Pole/Brazilian won all three matches via the final set tiebreaker. The pair would then not drop a set in the semifinal and final to win their first Masters title.
On clay at the Madrid Open, they would not drop a set to claim the title though Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios pulled out of their semifinal clash. Seven months down the line and the number two seeds now fighting for the world number one spot would win the final Masters tournament of the year at the Paris Masters coming through Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers 10-6 in the final set breaker, this after defeating Marc and Feliciano Lopez, and Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in the two previous rounds with Richard Gasquet and Lucas Pouille withdrawing before their opening match.
The world number one team would have a number of low points during the season. However, despite capturing a Masters title on clay, they experienced a tough time for most of the European Clay courts. In Monte-Carlo and Rome, the pair lost in the quarterfinal stage to Marc and Feliciano Lopez, and Henri Kontinen and John Peers after both times coming through their opening match.
At the French Open, Kubot and Melo would also lose their second match in the round of 32 to the eventual champions Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus in three sets after defeating Julien Benneteau and Jeremy Chardy the previous round.
The pair had many high points during the season, but the Grass season was without a doubt their highest point of the season, where they went 14-0 winning three straight titles. In Netherlands at the S-Hertogenbosch as the number one seeds, the pair downed second seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram. The pair then came through three out of four match tiebreakers the following week to clinch the Gerry Weber Open, which included defeating Alexander and Mischa Zverev 10-8 in the final after losing the opening set.
Their biggest title of the season came at the All England Club in Wimbledon, where they would play best of five. Having come through Dutch duo Matwe Middlekoop and Wesley Koolhof in straight sets, they needed five sets in their next two rounds against Alexander Peya and Philipp Petzschner, and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Florin Mergea to reach the quarterfinals before ending Neal and Ken Skupski's dream run in straight sets. They would end Kontinen and Peers' hopes in the semi's winning 9-7 in the fifth then coming through an epic 13-11 against Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in four hours and 40 minutes.
In the opening two months of the season, the pair struggled through Australia in January and the three ATP 500 events in February and even considered parting ways. At the Sydney International, their season-opening tournament, the duo lost 10-5 to Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, then at the Australian Open losing to Dodig Granollers after winning their two previous rounds.
In Rotterdam after the Australian swing, Kubot and Melo would win their first match against David Goffin and Fernando Verdasco in straight sets but would endure another loss to Koolhof and Middlekoop. Struggling to gel together, the pair would bow out at the quarterfinal stage in Rio and then in the opening round in Mexico to Santiago Gonzalez and David Marrero.
Forgetting the first two months of their season, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo endured an unforgettable season winning six major titles and clinching the year-ending world number one at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals. They remained consistent enough to claim the biggest of titles on the ATP World Tour and dazzled us with their sensational all-around doubles play.
The two would hope to continue their successful partnership beyond the year, and if they can find their 2017 form to 2018, they will once again be the team to stop. The only issue would be is that they would need to improve slightly on clay, though you could argue winning a Masters title is enough for them.