China Open, Beijing 2016
by MAC

We may not have got the result we wanted in the singles but how fabulous it was to see Rafa win his 11th doubles title.

I'll get the singles out of the way first.

He started off well in his opening match, beating Paolo Lorenzi6-1, 6-1, with ease.

His second opponent was Adrian Mannarino, someone he'd never played before. The first set was the same as his previous match but after that things went a bit pear-shaped. He managed to win in straight sets, however, 6-1, 7-6(6).

Unfortunately, he couldn't recreate his early form in his quarter final against ;Grigor Dimitrov and lost, 2-6, 4-6.

Gratuitous shirtless, because it's been a while.

The doubles was so much more satisfying.

In the first round they faced the number three seeds, Rohan Bopanna (doubles ranking 18, doubles titles 14) and Daniel Nestor(doubles ranking 14, doubles titles 90).

Not a problem. They won, 7-6(3), 6-4.

In the quarter finals they beat the Chinese wildcard pairing of Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang, 7-5, 6-3. Less of a surprise since neither opponent had ever won a doubles title.

In the semi final they were up against the might of the Bryan brothers. Ranked 6 and 7 in doubles (and the top seeds here) they have won a massive 114 doubles titles.

Undaunted, they beat them in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.

In the final they played Jack Sock and Bernard Tomic, who had beaten the number 2 seeds in their semi final. Jack Sock has 6 doubles titles, including Wimbledon in 2014.

Things didn't look too hopeful when they squandered their lead in the first set. They failed to serve it out when leading 5-4 and then lost the tiebreak. They got back on course by taking the second but then went a double break down in the super-tiebreak. They finally clinched the match, 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-8.

It was Rafa's 11th doubles title and Pablo's 2nd.


¡Enhorabuena, Rafa y Pablo!