French-Finnish duo lifts first ATP 500 trophy of the season
Jeremy Chardy and Henri Kontinen completed a dream debut week on Sunday, beating Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 7-6(5), 7-6(4) to lift their first team title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
“[Partnering with Jeremy] was pretty last minute,” said Kontinen. “A few days before [the tournament], I was just glad he said yes to my text message and here we are.”
Chardy and Kontinen won 83 per cent of first-serve points (38/46) and saved five of six break points to triumph after one hour and 40 minutes. The French-Finnish partnership served for the first set at 5-3 and failed to convert a set point at 5-4, but eventually took a one-set lead in the tie-break. After saving two break points at 3-4 (30/40) in the second set, Chardy and Kontinen claimed five straight points from 2/4 down in the second-set tie-break to clinch the title.
More than two years after claiming his fourth tour-level doubles title at the 2017 Qatar ExxonMobil Open (w/F. Martin), Chardy adds a fifth title to his collection. Kontinen, who reached his second Australian Open final (w/Peers) last month, improves to 22-5 in tour-level championship matches.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Chardy. “[Henri] is my friend. To win with him means a lot to me. We played really good and he taught me a lot during the week, so it was really good to play with him.”
Rojer and Tecau were aiming to capture their 19th crown in their 24th tour-level final as a team (18-6). The Dutch-Romanian tandem drops to 1-2 in Rotterdam finals, having also finished as runner-up in 2014 (l. to Llodra/Mahut) before lifting the trophy in 2015 (d. Murray/Peers).
Chardy and Kontinen earn 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €127,270 in prize money. Rojer and Tecau gain 300 points and split €62,300.
Did You Know?
Chardy and Kontinen required Match Tie-breaks in each of their three contests en route to the final.