This year’s doubles field at the Nitto ATP Finals features a mix of established teams and breakthrough stars. Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek are leading the way as the top seeds.
“It feels great to come back here, for us a second time as a team together. I’m really enjoying it. Happy that we had a great season. And to finish it here, it’s always the best thing,” Dodig said. “That’s why we fight through the year, to play this one. And hopefully this time we can have a good run.
“Last year, we had great matches. We lost all the matches in the [Match] Tie-break. Hopefully this time, we can do it better. But all in all, great season. Happy to be back.”
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Dodig and Krajicek won this year’s Roland Garros title and triumphed on four other occasions: at Rotterdam, Monte-Carlo, Queen’s Club and Beijing. But the Croatian-American duo will face stern tests in every match of Green Group action, with all teams in Turin champions in their own right.
First up for Dodig and Krajicek will be Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni on Sunday. The Argentines are both debuting at the Nitto ATP Finals at age 40 and 35, respectively.
“I’m very, very happy. We are enjoying the week, enjoying every practice and tomorrow the match. It’s like a dream come true,” Molteni said. “We always see this tournament, big players from all around the world — and from Argentina as well — playing this tournament. So now we are here playing and we are very happy and very proud that we made it to qualify this year.”
Doubles Stars Ready For Nitto ATP Finals
Defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury are back in the field, competing in the season finale for the fifth consecutive year. In the middle of the season, their Turin hopes seemed in doubt. But they returned to form by winning the US Open for the third straight year.
“It’s amazing to defend the title here, or to try to defend the title, I should say. But I think it’s even more special, because we probably were on the outside looking in for six months of this year,” Ram said. “So the fact that we really basically qualified in the last six months, I think is something that we’re pretty proud of. We didn’t didn’t have a great start to the year, but we really came on strong to get here in the end.”
In the end, this is the event the players wait for all season. Santiago Gonzalez, who will be making his debut alongside Edouard Roger-Vasselin, is excited to get started.
“It was the only tournament left in my bucket list to play. So I’m very happy to do it this year after an amazing year,” Gonzalez said. “At the end of the day we are playing the best teams in the world, so we can win or lose any match. So we will try our best on court.”