Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek Become Australian Open Men’s Doubles Champions!

Daniela Rogulj

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36-year-old Croatian doubles expert Ivan Dodig has claimed the Australian Open title in the men’s doubles competition! With partner Filip Polasek, they defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Rama 6:3, 6:4.

This is the first joint Grand Slam title for the Croatian Davis Cup national team member and Slovak partner, who defeated the defending champions American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury in Sunday’s Australian Open final after 88 minutes of great tennis. 

This is Dodig’s second Grand Slam trophy in men’s doubles, after he won the first in 2015 at Roland Garros with Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo. In addition, the 36-year-old from Medjugorje also has three trophies from mixed doubles with Taiwanese partner Latisha Chan, with whom he won Roland Garros twice (2018 and 2019) and Wimbledon once (2019). Filip Polasek became only the second Slovak to win a Grand Slam title, and before him, only Daniela Hantuchova managed the same in mixed doubles.

Dodig and Polasek played an excellent final without allowing Ram and Salisbury to break, while they took advantage of two out of 15 opportunities, one in each set.

In the first set, they broke Salisbury’s serve in the eighth game, and reached the decisive tie break in the seventh game of the second set, again on their opponent’s serve, when Ivan Dodig sent back an indefensible forehand. The Croatian-Slovak pair missed the first match point on Ram’s serve in the eighth game, but in the next game, Polasek convincingly served for the biggest triumph in their career.

How well Dodig and Polasek played is best illustrated by the statement of their rival Joe Salisbury.

“I think this was the best match played in the final ever,” said the Briton after the match.

Dodig and Polasek received the winning trophy from one of the last greats of Australian tennis, Patrick Rafter, and for the triumph in Melbourne Park, they will share 600,000 AUD, which is about HRK 3.75 million.

Ivan Dodig became the fourth Croatian to win a Grand Slam title in the senior competition in Melbourne Park. Mirjana Lučić Baroni won the women’s doubles title with Martina Hingis in 1998, Mate Pavić was the winner in two competitions in 2018, the men’s doubles with Austrian Oliver Marach, and mixed doubles with Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski, while Nikola Mektić celebrated last year in mixed doubles with Czech Barbora Krejčikova.

Source: HRT

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