The Buenos Aires crowd will have two Argentines to support in the doubles final, but their home heroes will be on opposite sides of the net.
Horacio Zeballos and Italy’s Fabio Fognini advanced on Saturday to book their spot in the Argentina Open final against Friday winners Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Andres Molteni. The second seeds defeated Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8, in their second straight Match Tie-break victory.
Fognini and Zeballos surrendered a 5-0 lead in the decisive tie-break, but responded by winning the last two points of the contest to advance. The Italian/Argentine pairing won 71 per cent of their first-serve points in the match and regrouped after conceding two breaks in the opening set.
For former doubles World No. 7 Fognini, it’s a second ATP Tour doubles final on the young season. He teamed with Simone Bolelli to reach the Sydney final in January. His most recent doubles title came in 2018 alongside compatriot Matteo Berrettini in St. Petersburg.
Zeballos is the current doubles World No. 6 and reached a career-high of No. 3 in 2019. The 36-year-old has 18 career tour-level doubles titles, including two Masters wins in 2021 (Madrid, Cincinnati) with Marcel Granollers. Granollers and Zeballos reached the Australian Open semi-finals in January before bowing out to eventual champions Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios.
Dutch Duo Haase/Middelkoop Reach Rotterdam Final
There will also be home representation in the Rotterdam doubles final, thanks to a second consecutive Match Tie-break victory from Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop in Saturday’s semis.
The unseeded pairing defeated the third-seeded French team of Nicolas Mahut and Fabrice Martin, 7-6(5), 2-6, 10-6, to reach their first ATP Tour final together since 2019 at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament. They are seeking their first title as a pair since 2018, when they won three.
After a straight-set dismissal of the top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in their opening match, Haase/Middelkoop beat Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in a Match Tie-Break to reach the semi-finals.
The Dutchmen were at their best at the most crucial moments on Saturday, advancing despite trailing in both tie-breaks and claiming just a single break of serve on seven opportunities. From 4-5 down in the decider, they won six of the match’s last seven points, including the last four on the trot.
Another unseeded team awaits in the final. Lloyd Harris and Tim Puetz also went the distance in a 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-7 win over fourth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski to reach the championship match.
Top seeds Arevalo/Rojer knocks off Americans in Dallas
Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer have not dropped a set on their way to the Dallas Open final, but just one of those frames was settled in fewer than 12 games.
In Saturday’s semi-finals, the top seeds earned a 7-5, 7-6(4) victory over Americans Sam Querrey and Jackson Withrow to extend their tie-break record to 3-0 on the week. After contesting their second semi-final of 2022 (Melbourne), Arevalo and Rojer are through to their first title match of the young season. They’re seeking a second title as a team following a 2021 Winston-Salem triumph.
The Salvadoran/Dutch duo awaits the winner of the second semifinal: John Isner and Jack Sock vs. Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.