GRANOLLERS AND ZEBALLOS EARN WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN DOUBLES TITLE
Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos won the 2021 Western & Southern Open doubles title after defeating American wild cards Steve Johnson and Austin Krajicek 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) Sunday.
Granollers and Zeballos are the first doubles champions to win the finals though two tie-breaks since Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in 2011. The Spanish-Argentine duo competed in their second consecutive Western & Southern Open and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2020.
The No. 2 seed became the first doubles team to not drop a set in the Western & Southern Open since Bob and Mike Bryan in 2003. The Wimbledon doubles finalists reached their fourth ATP Masters 1000 final, winning titles at 2019 Montreal, 2020 Rome and 2021 Madrid.
Granollers’ victory marks the second straight year a Spanish player won the Western & Southern Open doubles championship, following the suit of Pablo Carreno Busta. The 35-year-old claimed his sixth ATP Masters 1000 doubles title and 23rd overall.
Zeballos is the first Argentine player to claim the doubles title in Cincinnati in the Open Era, marking his fifth ATP Masters 1000 and 18th career doubles championships. The two-time Major doubles finalist is currently ranked No. 6 in the World doubles.
“I think we are playing great tennis,” Zeballos said. “We are very confident and trying to do our best and practicing every day on what we can improve. That is the key to work hard and try to be aggressive when you play, and we are doing that stuff and we play really well.”
In just their second ATP-level event as a team, Johnson & Krajicek became the first all-American doubles finalists since the Bryan brothers in 2014. Last year they made their team debut in an ATP event at the Western & Southern Open and reached the semifinals. The wild card American duo had previously teamed up to win the 2011 Knoxville Challenger.