John Peers and Bruno Soares lifted their first team title at the MercedesCup on Sunday, defeating Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 6-3.
Competing in just their second event as a pairing, the top seeds claimed 78 per cent of first-serve points (36/46) and saved both break points they faced to take the title after 68 minutes. Peers and Soares trailed Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 2-4 in the first round, before notching one of two Match Tie-break victories en route to the trophy. In their only previous appearance as a team, Peers and Soares reached the quarter-finals at this event in 2016.
“It feels amazing, especially after the first round,” said Soares. “We had a very tough draw, starting play against the Germans, Struff and Puetz. They played extremely well to be honest, we got lucky at the end… We were down a set and a break and from that moment, it just felt like the week just completely turned. We started playing extremely well and now, here we are one week later with the trophy.”
In his 60th tour-level final, Soares improves to 31-29 in championship matches. The Brazilian was competing in his third final in Stuttgart after a runner-up finish in 2015 (w/Peya) and a title run in 2017 (w/J. Murray). Peers has now won 20 trophies from 32 tour-level finals.
“It is always great to get a title, especially in a place where you enjoy playing” said Peers. “It is great to get back on the grass.”
Bopanna and Shapovalov were also aiming to capture their first team trophy. In their first event as a team, the Indian-Canadian tandem defeated third seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the first round, before back-to-back straight-sets wins to book its spot in the final.
Peers and Soares receive 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €38,410 in prize money. Bopanna and Shapovalov gain 150 points and split €19,680.
“We served slightly better than they did and created a few more opportunities on return. [There was] not much in it at the end of the day,” said Peers.
Did You Know?
Peers and Soares is not a full-time doubles team. Peers is still competing with Henri Kontinen — they are two-time Nitto ATP Finals champions — and Soares will be partnering Mate Pavic.