Team work

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London

Round Robin, Day 5: [TR4] Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs. [TR7] Ivan Dodig (CRO) and Marcelo Melo (BRA)

Working in harmony is the key to success in doubles and sometimes that means one player has to carry the team when their partner is off their game.  Today, Roger-Vasselin was the team leader.  He was alert, played with confidence, and kept the team morale positive.  He served, volleyed, and returned well. Benneteau was mentally fragile in the first set and he struggled on serve.  He lost his first service game and after they fought hard to get back on serve, Benneteau had two consecutive double faults to lose the first set to Dodig/Melo.

They were more in sync in the second set as Benneteau elevated his game and the French team went on the attack. Each player was now fully engaged and the competition was fierce.  As the French team grew in confidence, their opponents began to feel the negative effects of doubt and they were broken twice. Dodig/Melo were left wondering what happened on the changeover as the match headed to a tiebreak instead of being over.

The tiebreak was a nail biter. Both teams gave everything they had and it was a toss-up who would win.  No lead was certain and it came down to an exquisite volley by Benneteau that Dodig sent long, giving the French team the victory 4-6, 6-2, 10-8.

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