After falling one match short of the title at the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic earned their way back into the winners’ circle in their first event of the 2023 ATP Tour season.
In Saturday’s doubles final at the ASB Classic in Auckland, the Croatians defeated Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-6 to claim their 15th tour-level title as team. The result secured a measure of revenge for the champions, who were upset by the Americans in their lone previous ATP Head2Head matchup at the 2021 US Open.
Living up to their billing as top seeds in Auckland, Mektic and Pavic won three Match Tie-breaks in their four victories, never losing the opening set. They improved to 120-34 as they began their third season as a team, their partnership highlighted by titles at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 in addition to four ATP Masters 1000 crowns. The 34-year-old Mektic and 29-year-old Pavic have both reached the top of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings in their careers, with both currently inside the Top 10.
Lammons and Withrow, both 29, were seeking their second ATP Tour title in their third final together. Their previous triumph came on home soil in San Diego last season, a year in which they also reached the Gijon final.