LONDON, November 10, 2018
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic have already secured the year-end No. 1 ATP doubles team ranking for the first time. The Austrian-Croatian duo was the first tandem to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. Marach/Pavic will open their first London campaign on Monday against Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
“It’s a tough group but we have played some decent tennis over the last couple of weeks. We are confident,” Marach told reporters on Saturday at The O2 in Greenwich during media-day.
“We played a consistent season, which paid off by qualifying for this great event here. Getting to the venue by a ship is not a usual thing. We also attended the launch of the ATP Finals yesterday, which was another fantastic experience. Playing in front of 17,000 spectators will be terrific. We are looking forward to this week.”
Pavic was forced to pull out from the ATP Masters event in Paris last week with an abdominal injury but seems to be fit again. “I feel good,” he said. “It was a kind of precaution for London and the Davis Cup final. I had some problems in the past and I just wanted to be sure that it is not anything serious.”
Asked about the feeling being No. 1 in doubles and finishing the season at the top of the rankings Pavic commented with a smile: “It’s a better feeling than being alternates like last year. We have already secured our position, so it will be pretty relaxed this week.”
25-year-old Pavic has become the youngest member of a year-end No. 1 doubles team since Todd Woodbridge in 1995. His 38-year-old partner is the oldest member of a year-end No. 1 doubles team since 38-year-old Sherwood Stewart in 1984.
“Mate does not miss a chance to point this out,” Marach said. “But seriously, it is a great achievement for him. In my case, I am just saying: The older the wine, the better it tastes.”