Rinky Hijikata and Max Purcell capped a dream debut week as a team on Sunday at the Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships, where they defeated Jamie Murray and Michael Venus 6-4, 6-1 to win the title.
The Australians upset third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer to reach the championship match and backed up that standout win with a dominant display against Murray and Venus. Hijikata and Purcell saved both break points they faced and were impressive on return, winning 47 per cent (28/59) of points on Murray and Venus’ delivery to seal victory after 73 minutes.
"It has been good," Hijikata said. "It was the first time pairing together in doubles and I think we got better as the week went on. We enjoy playing with each other and I feel we played some really good tennis."
With their title run, Hijikata and Purcell became the first Australian team to win the Tokyo doubles title since Jordan Kerr triumphed with Swede Robert Lindstedt in 2007.
Hijikata, 22, holds a 2-1 tour-level record in doubles finals, while Purcell improved to 4-6 in title matches. Sunday’s triumph was Purcell’s first crown on hard courts. The 25-year-old won Wimbledon earlier this year with Matthew Ebden.
Murray and Venus are eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings as they seek a qualification spot at the Nitto ATP Finals. They may need to finish in the Top 7 to clinch a spot in Turin, though, as 17th-placed Hijikata and Jason Kubler triumphed at the Australian Open in January. If they finish inside the Top 20, they will qualify having won a Grand Slam title in 2023.
Tstisipas Brothers Win Antwerp Crown
Petros Tsitsipas and Stefanos Tsitsipas won their first tour-level title as a team on Sunday at the European Open, where they clawed past Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-8.
The Greeks entered the ATP 250 event in Antwerp holding a 7-24 tour-level record as a team. They produced high-quality tennis throughout the week in Belgium to leave with the trophy, though, saving two match points in their semi-final win.
In a tight title final, Tsitsipas and Tstisipas recovered from squandering a 5/2 lead in the Match Tie-break, recompossing from 6/6 to triumph after one hour and 37 minutes.
Petros is up to No. 81 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Rankings, meaning he will crack the Top 100 for the first time on Monday. The 23-year-old was competing in his first tour-level final.
Stefanos has lifted two doubles trophies, having won the crown with Feliciano Lopez in Acapulco in 2022.
Golubev/Molchanov Reign In Stockholm
Andrey Golubev and Denys Molchanov clinched the title at the Stockholm Open on Sunday when they defeated Yuki Bhambri and Julian Cash 7-6(8), 6-2 at the ATP 250 event.
"We are feeling amazing," Molchanov said. "We don't win that often, so it is a great feeling. It was very close. The first set we started with a break but then they cmae back and had a little advantage at the end of the tie-break, but we played some good shots and that was key."
The Kazakh-Ukranian team were competing in their first tour-level final as a team and rose to the occasion, saving one set point in the first set before breaking Bhambri and Cash's serve twice in the second set to triumph after one hour and 38 minutes.
With his maiden tour-level title, Golubev has become the second Kazakhstani player to win an ATP Tour doubles title in the Open Era after Aleksandr Nedovyesov lifted the trophy in Bastad this year. Molchanov now holds a 2-1 record in tour-level doubles finals.