France’s Nicolas Mahut hardly could comprehend all the success his doubles team is having.
Two weeks ago, he and compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert were giving victory speeches in Indian Wells after winning the year’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. On Saturday, they were saying thanks in South Florida after winning the Miami Open presented by Itau, another Masters 1000 event. The Frenchmen beat American Rajeev Ram and South African Raven Klaasen 5-7, 6-1, 10-7 on Saturday afternoon. Herbert and Mahut became the first doubles team to win Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back since Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan did in 2014.
“Winning last week in Indian Wells was already fantastic but winning back-to-back, Indian Wells and here, it’s maybe too much,” Mahut said. “I don’t know what to say. It’s great for us.”
The Frenchmen have now won 10 consecutive matches and four tour-level titles as a team. For Mahut, the Miami victory gives him his 13th doubles title; Herbert earned his fifth. They won Miami with a comeback that featured stellar serving and controlled net play.
Herbert and Mahut had four break chances in the first set, but Ram and Klaasen erased them. The American and South African used their only break chance at 6-5 to win the set.
The second set, though, was all France. After losing the final eight points of the first set, the Frenchmen won the next eight points, including a service break. They broke Ram and Klaasen two more times and more than doubled their point total – 26-12 – in the second set to level the match.
Mahut and Herbert carried their momentum into the match tie-break. Serving at 7-5, Mahut sliced a second serve out wide on the deuce court for an ace to give the French team some margin. A Mahut forehand volley winner gave them the championship.
For the match, Mahut and Herbert landed 70 per cent of their first serves and won 72 per cent of those points. They also won a high percentage of their second serve points – 71.
“It’s a dream come true for us to be playing at this level of doubles,” Herbert said.
They will receive 1,000 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $336,920 in prize money.
Ram and Klaasen achieved their best showing at a Masters 1000 tournament and of late. Ram was playing in his first Masters 1000 final; Klaasen, his second. The doubles team also had lost in the first round at their three prior tournaments (Acapulco, Delray Beach, Indian Wells.) The two will receive 600 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $164,420 in prize money.