US Open: Pavic/Soares claim Men’s Doubles title
Soares and Pavic with the title (Image: Al Bello)

Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares won their first Grand Slam title as a duo on Thursday, defeating eighth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic to win the Men’s Doubles Title at the US Open.

Pavic and Soares were unseeded in New York but have both won Doubles and Mixed Doubles Grand Slam titles in the past and were arguably the favorites heading into this final, considering their experience and their win over the experienced pairing of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in the semifinal.

Koolhof/Mektic and Pavic/Soares in action (Image: Al Bello)
Koolhof/Mektic and Pavic/Soares in action (Image: Al Bello)

Kooholf and Mektic had upset third seeds Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram in the last four though were unable to threaten the unseeded duo today. The eighth seeds did not create a break point, with Pavic and Soares prevailing 7-5, 6-3 to take the title.

Pavic and Soares grab first Grand Slam since restart

This was the first final of the tournament and the first Grand Slam final played behind closed doors, due to the lack of spectators in New York this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, meaning it was also the first Grand Slam final in seven months.

Both pairs started brightly and looked comfortable in their opening service games. There were no breaks of serve as the score progressed to 5-5, though Pavic and Soares did look the sharper of the two.

That sharpness was clearly right at the end of the first, as the Croatian-Brazillian pairing applied pressure when their opponents served to stay in the first set for the second time at 6-5. The duo broke Koolhof and Mektic to take the opening set.

Pavic and Soares celebrate following the conclusion of the final (Image: Al Bello)
Pavic and Soares celebrate following the conclusion of the final (Image: Al Bello)

The contest was arguably now in the hands of Pavic and Soares, who were playing the better of the two teams on court, and they broke for the second time in the match to take a 4-2 lead in set two. That break was consolidated for a decisive 5-2 lead.

Koolhof and Mektic were able to hold to force Pavic to serve for victory and there were perhaps some nerves as he and Soares were taken to deuce, though they converted a second championship point to take the title. It is a second Men’s Doubles slam and fourth Grand Slam title overall for Pavic, whilst it is a sixth slam overall for Soares and a third Men’s Doubles major.