With the Tennis season just a month old, VAVEL USA has brought back a fan favorite - Player/ Teams of the Months. This January saw Oliver Marach, 37 and Mate Pavic, 24 named Team of the Month as they captured three titles in three different countries and remained 14 matches unbeaten.
Austrian-Croatian pair win eight in a row to begin season
Marach and Pavic entered the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, the season opener. They entered a stacked field where they were the second seeds. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were the number one seeds whilst Feliciano Lopez and Rajeev Ram were the third seeds, and Ivan Dodig and Fernando Verdasco the fourth.
The number two seeds strolled their way into the final without dropping a single set. Their opponents, Murray and Soares had dropped two sets en-route to the final. With the top two seeds going head-to-head, it was the Austrian-Croatian pair who got the better of the number one seeds, 6-2, 7-6(6), finishing with the title and no sets dropped.
The pair then headed to the ASB Classic in Auckland, where this time, they were the top seeds ahead of Raven Klaasen and Ram, number two, Santiago Gonzalez and Julio Peralta the third, and Pablo Cuevas Horacio Zeballos the fourth seeds.
The Pair struggled en-route to the final. In the opening match, they came through 10-6 in the match tiebreaker before easing past Daniel Nestor and Donald Young. In the semifinal, they battled 10-6 in the breaker against the third seeds. They then made it two titles in a row as they defeated Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 10-7.
Marach and Pavic win maiden Grand Slam
Having missed out on Wimbledon last year, Marach and Pavic would win their first Grand Slam title as the seventh seeds. This would be their fourth title together and third this year.
The pair strolled through their opening round match. However, they needed in their next four matches, including the semifinal match against Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff, who had knocked out Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the previous round.
The seventh seeds opponents would be Colombia's Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, who hadn't dropped a set in front of their traveling Colombian fans, including defeating Bob and Mike Bryan in the semifinal match.
In the opening set, Marach and Pavic had to stave off four break points in the fourth game before breaking at 5-4 to win the set, 6-4. In the second set, they only had to save two break points and once again, broke in the ninth game before closing out the match. Full recap available here.