ATP

Djokovic advances to the Mallorca Championships doubles final

It’s a usual sight to see Novak Djokovic in a final of a tennis tournament. Heck, he just won his second French Open, and 19th overall major title, less than two weeks ago. This week, however, the World No. 1 in singles has taken a different approach to his Wimbledon tune-up and decided to team up with Spaniard Carlos Gomez-Herrera and compete in the Mallorca Championships doubles tournament. And they are having great success.

Djokovic and Gomez-Herrera advanced to the final on Thursday after securing another upset win in the tournament, this time over third seeds Oliver Marach and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-3, 7-6(4). Previously, the tandem earned a 5-7, 6-4, 13-11 victory over Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic in the first round then followed it up with an upset quarterfinal win over first seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-2, 3-6, 12-10.

It’s safe to say these results were unexpected. Djokovic, who’s currently ranked No. 220 in doubles, hadn’t played a doubles match since representing Serbia in the ATP Cup back in early February. Gomez-Herrera’s career-high in doubles is No. 249 and he had never reached an ATP doubles final prior to the Mallorca Championships. Djokovic last reached an ATP doubles final back in 2010 at Queen’s Club, when he and Jonathan Elrich ended up winning the event.

Djokovic talked about the odds-defying run in an on-court interview after the semifinal victory:

I don’t think we expected to reach the finals. But if we play well, we can return very well, we serve very well and I think we have a quite solid net game.

The pairing awaits the winner of the second semifinals match between fourth seeds Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez and second seeds Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald. If they go on to win in Mallorca, it would be Djokovic’s second ATP doubles title and the first for Gomez-Herrera.