Dodig, Polasek win Australian Open men’s doubles title

Australian Open
Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Doubles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Slovakia's Filip Polasek and Croatia's Ivan Dodig celebrate with the trophy after winning the men's doubles final against Rajeev Ram of the U.S. and Britain's Joe Salisbury REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

February 23, 2021

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek won their first Grand Slam title together on Sunday, taking down defending Australian Open men’s doubles champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-3 6-4 in the final.

It was the first Grand Slam triumph for Polasek, 35, who came out of retirement in 2018, while Croatia’s Dodig won his second men’s doubles title after winning the 2015 French Open with Marcelo Melo.

Polasek became only the second Slovakian player to win a Grand Slam after Daniela Hantuchova and dedicated the title to his newborn daughter.

“Since we started to play one and a half years ago, we are really enjoying and playing good tennis,” Dodig said during the trophy ceremony. “We are having a lot of fun and hopefully it is going to continue.”

The duo dominated the final at Rod Laver Arena, breaking their opponents’ serve once in each set during the 88-minute contest.

Such was their domination that they created 15 breakpoint opportunities in the match while not allowing Ram and Salisbury a single look at their own serve.

The defeat denied Ram, 36, a double at Melbourne Park this year after he paired with Barbora Krejcikova to win the mixed doubles title on Saturday.

“Filip, I know it’s your first Grand Slam,” Ram said. “That was way too good. Not sure what we could have done any different, so you guys played awesome.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by xx)