Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni won their third Match Tie-break this week at the Mubadala Citi DC Open to clinch the doubles title on Sunday at the ATP 500 event.
The unseeded champions earned a 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-6 win against Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Ben Shelton to improve to 4-0 this season in ATP Tour finals. Their four tour-level title draws them level with Roland Garros champs Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek for most doubles crowns this season. The triumph also lifted them two places into the all-important eighth spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Team Rankings, giving them an inside track to qualify for what would be their Nitto ATP Finals debut this November.
"We are working hard here. We know each other. I think this is important when you play doubles," Gonzalez said post-match. "We have confidence, we trust in us. I hope to keep it the same way."
Already titlists in Cordoba, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona this season, Gonzalez/Molteni claimed D.C. glory with a string of clutch performances in the American capital. They won four tie-breaks on the week in addition to their three Match Tie-breaks, and they saved both break points against them in the final.
The first Argentine champions in D.C. tournament history stormed back into the title match after missing out on a set point on return at 6-5 in opening set and dropping the opening tie-break. But after a dominant second set in which they converted on two of seven break chances, they built a 6/2 lead in the Match Tie-break and never looked back.
Gonzalez, 40, improved to 16-6 in tour-level doubles finals, while the 35-year-old Molteni is now 15-7. Neither man had won four titles in a season before. Together, they are 5-0 in tour-level finals.
McDonald and Shelton were denied their first ATP Tour doubles title as a pair, while Shelton was competing in his first tour-level final across singles and doubles.