Croatian duo Mektic, Pavic wins men’s doubles at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Croatian duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic lived up to their billing as the world’s top doubles team by winning Wimbledon to secure their biggest win of a dominant season.

The top-seeded pair beat Marcel Granollers of Spain and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5 in a final that finished close to 10:20 p.m. (2120 GMT) under the roof on Centre Court.

They had a first match point at 5-4 in the fourth set then converted their second to break Granollers’ serve in the final game.

“That ball falling long on the last point, that was the best feeling of my life,” Mektic said. “It was an incredible match today again. The last three matches that we played, it was probably the best three matches of my life, the best three matches that I ever participated in.”

The pair had to come from two sets down in the quarterfinals.

It is the eighth title this season for Mektic and Pavic, in their first year as a pair.

They are the first Croatian duo to win the doubles at Wimbledon and did it 20 years after Goran Ivanisevic won the men’s singles final.

“This is something special, this is by far the best tournament in the world,” Pavic said. “Especially for me and I think for Nikola also, we all grew up with Goran.”

Pavic also won the Australian Open in 2018 and the U.S. Open last year with different partners. It was Mektic’s first Grand Slam title.

They enter the Tokyo Olympics as the big favorite for the gold medal.

“We are very confident,” Pavic said. “The schedule is not the best, but I think we have a good chance. We are one of the favorites there. The way we played, I think there would be a good chance for us.”

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