LONDON, November 20, 2016
The doubles championship featured two teams, who were making their first Barclays ATP World Tour Finals appearance at the O2, when Henri Kontinen of Finnland and Australian John Peers fought past Raven Klaasen from South Africa and US-American Rajeev Ram on Sunday afternoon.
Kontinen and Peers won 74 per cent of their first service points and 58 per cent of the total points played to secure a 2-6, 6-1, 10-8 victory in one hour and 10 minutes, gaining their fourth win over Klaasen and Ram in as many meeting between the four.
“At any moment the momentum can change. We were lucky enough to get onto them straight at the start of the second set. Momentum changed our way That’s doubles these days. You can never feel comfortable out there because everything changes so quickly. So it was actually really good we hung in there, hung in there, and we took our chance when we got it,” Peers said in the post-match conference.
The fifth seeds were the youngest team in the draw (combined 54 years old) and had come to London winning four ATP doubles titles in 2016: Brisbane, Munich, Hamburg, as well as the Masters 1000 event in Paris.
“I’ve known from the start (of the year) that we could beat any team in the world. To do it on this constant basis has been obviously a big plus. Probably not many who can beat these tough teams 10 times in a row like we’ve done. We’ve played pretty much all the teams that are here. That’s maybe a little bit surprising. But to be contesting for these titles, I don’t think either one of us is surprised about that,” Kontinen told.
Peers has become the first Aussie to claim the doubles title at the ATP Finals since Hall-of-Famers Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde lifted the trophy in Hartford in 1996.
“We (Australians) are starting to get a really good group of guys working hard and pushing hard together. It’s great to see so many guys in the sort of numbers back at the Grand Slam level and tour level. That’s the biggest thing I feel that most countries that have successful players, they push numbers through and they really work hard together. That’s the biggest thing we’re starting to do right now. Australian tennis is on the up and up. The Davis Cup squad is looking really strong for the future.”
Peers is still having a great week ahead, flying out now to Perth and Melbourne in order to organize final things for his wedding on Monday.