Chance pairing blossoms into Astana Open success

26.09.2021    Views: 209
Source: KTF press-service
Courtney Walsh

A chance invitation in New York from Santiago Gonzalez to Andres Molteni has resulted in a profitable pairing through September on the ATP Tour for the doubles specialists.
Gonzalez, 38, and Molteni, 33, exchanged text messages leading into the US Open last month when both were left without a partner for the grand slam. 

The combination had discussed the possibility of playing together in the past, believing they would complement each other well, and their results over the past month has shown this belief was well-placed. 

After reaching the third round at the US Open, they won an ATP Challenger title in Szczecin, Poland, last week and continued their successful partnership in Nur-Sultan by winning the Astana Open.

The top-seeded pair needed only an hour on Sunday to defeat Andrei Vasilevski and Jonathan Erlich 6-1 6-2 in the doubles final, making early moves in both sets when securing service breaks.   

«In the US Open, we were playing well, and then in Szczecin, we won the Challenger, which was on clay and this week we won, so clearly we are doing fine,» Molteni said.
«We are working good and hopefully we keep on with this attitude and this energy.»

In an indication the pair is continuing to flourish, their past two triumphs in Nur-Sultan have been the most dominant of their 11 matches as a combination.
Gonzalez and Molteni defeated Ricardas Berankis and Artem Sitak 6-4 6-0 on Saturday to reach the final.

In their three prior matches, including the Challenger final in Poland, they showed great conviction under pressure to win in match tiebreakers.

Gonzalez said their recent successes convinced them to look towards playing more tournaments together in 2021, beginning with the ATP 250 Sofia Open next week.
«We have known each other for a long time. We played many times against each other,» Gonzalez said.

«We always said, ‘We should play one time’, but I had a partner or he had a partner. This time, before the US Open … I was the one to text him, to say, ‘Hey, Andreas, do you want to maybe try to play together now that we are both free?’.

«We decided to play together at the US Open and obviously we did good, so we decided to play many more tournaments and hopefully, if we keep winning like this, you will see us in many more tournaments together.

«It is a good combination and hopefully we can keep going.» The Mexican will move to a FedEx ATP Ranking of 41 after his success. Molteni will improve his individual doubles ranking inside the top 60.

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