Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos triumph in Halle’s final thriller | UKTN


Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos held off an emotional late comeback from Tim Puetz and Michael Venus to clinch a first title of 2022 at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle on Sunday.

A crushing forehand from Granollers proved the moment of magic needed to break the deadlock late on OWL Arena, where the top seeds prevailed 6-4, 6-7(5), 14-12 in a dramatic championship game to seal their first grass-court crown as a team.

Granollers and Zeballos had appeared on track for a more comfortable climax in a close encounter by leading 5/0 in the Match Tie-break. Still, local favorite Puetz and New Zealander Venus rallied to force two match points on 10/9 and 12/11, before Granollers’ intervention secured a seventh league title. tour for the Spanish-Argentinian duo.

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“There was a bit of luck late in the game because you never know what’s going to happen when you’re 10/10 in the Match Tie-break,” Granollers said after the game. “I think it was a very good match, a good level from both teams. We were ahead in the tie-break match, and sometimes it can happen that you are tight, but we are very happy to win the tournament.

“It’s a really special moment for me,” Zeballos said. “I came here for the first time when I was 17 with my father. I met Roger [Federer] here i played my first junior tournament, so what can i say. I have very good memories, I’m so happy, I enjoyed the whole week, and now that we won the tournament, it’s perfect.

A few key moments defined a close first set in the teams’ first ATP Head2Head encounter. Granollers and Zeballos picked up a pair of break points to save in the second game and were clinical when their chance presented itself, converting a break point for 4-3 which proved enough to win the first set.

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Puetz and Venus responded to dropping their first set of the week by staying solid, but the German-New Zealand duo were forced to wait for a tie-break to level the match as serve dominated the second set . The third seeds converted their third set point to take it 7/5, as the excited crowd cheered on local favorite Puetz and partner Venus.

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However, Granollers and Zeballos did not panic, whose combination of precise serve and solid net play ultimately proved enough to overcome their opponents’ late charge and claim an hour-and-a-half victory. 52 minutes at the ATP 500 event.

This is the first tour-level title for Granollers and Zeballos since winning the trophy at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last August. The duo are now 7-4 in the UKTN Finals.


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