Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos made a successful start to their team debut at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday. The fourth seeds moved past sixth seeds John Peers and Michael Venus 7-6(2), 7-5.
The Rome champions saved five of the six break points they faced to earn their first victory in Group Bob Bryan after one hour and 42 minutes. Granollers and Zeballos improved to 23-6 as a team in 2020. They are chasing their fourth trophy of the season, following title runs on clay in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Rome earlier this year.
Granollers and Zeballos doubled their ATP Head2Head series lead against Peers and Venus to 2-0. The Spanish-Argentine duo also beat Peers and Venus en route to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia trophy in September.
Granollers and Zeballos saved the only two break points of the first set en route to the tie-break, where they punished their rivals for missing their opportunities. The fourth seeds used the lob in crucial moments in the first set and Zeballos converted their first set point with a dipping backhand return.
Granollers and Peers committed errors early in the second set, as the teams exchanged early breaks. Venus stayed calm under pressure to fire an ace when facing match point at 4-5, deciding point in the second set, but Granollers and Zeballos claimed the win two games later. The pair played with aggression on their returns and Zeballos clinched the win with a crosscourt backhand return winner.
Peers and Venus were also attempting to earn a win on their team debut at the season finale. The sixth seeds were appearing together for the first time since their quarter-final loss to eventual champions Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz at the Rolex Paris Masters.
Source: Tennis – ATP World Tour