Henri Kontinen and Marin Draganja maintained their strong form in claiming the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell title on Sunday.
The third team title of the season didn't come easy for the Croatian-Finnish pair, who were pushed to a Match Tie-break once again, denying Jamie Murray and John Peers 6-3, 6-7(6), 11-9. It was their third straight contest that went the distance, after edging second seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the quarter-finals and fourth seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the semi-finals.
"We started very hot," said Kontinen. "We didn't miss a ball in the first three or four games. It was almost too good. We started feeling like we had it on our racquets, but they hung in there in the second set and had more chances to break us. It was a tough Match Tie-break like a couple of the other matches. But I'm happy to pull through and lift my game at the most important times.
"We get along great on and off the court. We're improving as a team. It's a short time we've played together and I feel we're getting better and doing the right things."
Draganja and Kontinen pulled level with the top-ranked tandem of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan with an ATP World Tour leading three titles in 2015. They earned back-to-back titles on the indoor hard courts of Zagreb and Marseille in February. The duo split €142,750 and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points for their win this week.
"We managed to get out of trouble this week, maybe too many times," admitted Draganja. "We were a little bit lucky, but the serve was always helpful in these moments and it worked this week."