November 24, 2020 – Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic will take on the tennis world next year as a doubles team, and an Olympic medal is certainly on their minds.
HRT reports that the winner of the ATP Finals in doubles, Nikola Mektic, arrived in Zagreb on Monday evening and was greeted at the Franjo Tuđman Airport by the president of the Croatian Tennis Federation, Nikolina Babic, and numerous journalists.
Nikola Mektic and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof won the ATP Finals in London on Sunday after beating Austria’s Juergen Melzer and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 in the final match of the season. Mektic and Koolhof could not have wished for a better ending, and closed out their one-year collaboration with a triumph at the London Crown.
At the same time, with this victory, Mektic became the first Croatian to win the ATP Finals. The closest to the title so far was Ivan Dodig, who lost to Bob and Mike Bryan in the final six years ago with partner Marcelo Melo.
“I experienced my first welcome which indicates that I must have done something great. It’s an amazing feeling I’m not yet aware of. I did not expect this success since there were a couple of extraordinary situations, i.e., changes of partners, and before the start of the tournament we had to have a difficult conversation. I didn’t know how everything would turn out in the end, but from the first match, we managed to do everything professionally. The first duel was a bit harder, we got out of it and then we got better from match to match. We believed that we could beat everyone, but we did not hope for such success,” said Mektic and added:
“The first reactions are really strange and as soon as I went to my box I wanted to celebrate the victory with my boys who are equally responsible for all this. Those few minutes are an indescribable feeling. Now I’m going to dedicate a little to rest. I hope that the Australian Open will still happen in January, and preparations await us soon.”
Next season, Nikola Mektic will play in pairs with Mate Pavic, another Croatian doubles expert.
“Mate Pavic and I used to talk about cooperation in the past, but it did not happen. We had a desire to play together and it suddenly happened. When Mate asked me I agreed because he is the best in the world and it’s a call I couldn’t refuse. I believe it will be an incredible partnership and I am looking forward to it,” said Mektic.
One of the journalists’ inquiries was whether Croatia can expect an Olympic medal in Tokyo from Mektic and Pavic.
“Yes, and our results speak in favor of that. The expectations of the public are high, but we have also set big goals. We are aware of our quality and we are ready for that challenge,” said Mektic.
“This is a great success for Mektic, but also Croatian sports and tennis, and we are very proud. This is a continuation of the preparations for next year, in which the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the new Davis Cup await us, and every success is very important. We can say that this year our players have achieved success, both seniors and younger,” said the president of HTS Nikolina Babić.
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