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López and López win in Doha; Nadal into final
The all-Spanish duo of Marc López and Feliciano López have captured their first ATP World Tour title as doubles partners, winning the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on Friday.
It was Marc López’s third Doha crown, following runs to the 2009 and 2011 titles (w/Nadal).
The third-seeded Spaniards defeated fourth seeds Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).
“It's my third title, but first with Feli. I love playing in Doha,” said Marc López. “Every year I play well here. I will be back for sure.”
Feliciano López was equally pleased, adding, "It was our first time playing together in a while, but today in the final we played some of our best tennis. Yesterday we played well against Jamie [Murray] and Bruno [Soares] but we really played our best today.”
Almost 12 years after their only other ATP World Tour doubles final (Valencia, 2004), the Spaniards broke Peya in the first gamegiving them the upper hand in the 35-minute set.
Poor volleying by Petzschner saw Peya lose his serve in the third game of the second set and Marc López recovered from 0/40 at 3-2 to hold serve, before clinching Petzschner’s for the championship.
López and López were playing together for the first time since March 2012 (Miami).
Meanwhile, their compatriot Rafael Nadal set up a final showdown with Novak Djokovic thanks to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Illya Marchenko.
Nadal will attempt to capture his first hard-court title for two years on Saturday, but knows that Djokovic, who beat Berdych in the semi-finals, will be hard to beat. The two will meet for a record 47th time on the ATP World Tour. The series is currently tied 23-all, with Djokovic winning the past four matches.
"I know if I'm playing well, I am going to have opportunities," said Nadal. "I did a few good things, and I'm happy with the victory, being in the first final of the season in the first official tournament is something great."
"For sure it's important for my confidence, confirming that the end of the 2015 season had been something realistic and [in] the beginning of 2016 I [am] still playing well."
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