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Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah clinched their first title in 18 months on Saturday, when they defeated Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6(0), 7-6(4) to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Cabal and Farah saved a set point at 5-6 the second set and dominated both tie-breaks to lift their first trophy since the 2019 US Open. The Colombians improved their team record in tour-level finals to 17-20.

“It feels great… We have been playing good this year,” said Farah. “We struggled a little bit in Australia and got the level back to where we needed to be to win this title. We are very happy for that.”

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Across the two tie-breaks, Cabal and Farah won the opening 12 points. The top seeds found their best level in high-pressure moments throughout their week at The Aviation Club. En route to the championship match, Cabal and Farah survived two Match Tie-breaks and saved a match point in their quarter-final clash against Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori.

“That is what practice does,” said Cabal. “You keep [putting in] the hours on court and off court and that’s what gives you the confidence to play like that in those moments.”

Mektic and Pavic were attempting to lift their fourth title of the season. The Croatian pair, which owns a 20-3 record this year, has already captured trophies at the Antalya Open, the Murray River Open and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in 2021.

“Those guys are dragging so much confidence with them after winning that many tournaments and winning that many matches,” said Farah. “Clearly they have been playing really well and we just wanted to go out there, enjoy, [play] our game and bring the energy.”


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