Barcelona Open: Mergea

Florin Mergea and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi celebrate their first ATP World Tour doubles title as a team. © Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Florin Mergea of Romania and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan won their first ATP World Tour doubles title as a team on Sunday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Mergea/Qureshi dismissed the German/Austrian pairing of Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya 6-4, 6-3 in a battle between unseeded pairings at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, the oldest Spanish tennis club

“I couldn’t be more happy. I’ve been working really hard, and I know he’s a really hard worker,” Qureshi said. “There’s so much history in this club, and it’s great to be a part of it, to win a title here. Hopefully we can come back and win another title in this beautiful city.”

The Romanian/Pakistani combination continued to raise their level in the big moments during their first ATP World Tour doubles final as a team. Mergea/Qureshi saved all nine break points faced and converted half of their break opportunities against Petzschner/Peya, who were going for their first tour-level doubles title together. “I think the whole tournament, we played the big points really well,” Qureshi said.

Mergea/Qureshi dropped only one set all week, in the semi-finals when they beat Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-3, 5-7, 14-12. Mergea/Qureshi also knocked off top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peersin the quarter-finals. “For me it’s my first time here and it’s been a privilege to play in this club, and I’m looking forward to coming back here,” Mergea said.

Barcelona is only the fourth ATP World Tour tournament Mergea/Qureshi have played together. Their previous best result was the semi-finals at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech two weeks ago.

Mergea improved to 7-8 in doubles finals; Qureshi to 13-16. They will receive 500 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split €150,780 in prize money.

Petzschner/Peya will get 300 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split €73,820 in prize money. Peya was going for his second Barcelona doubles crown, after winning the 2013 title with Brazilian Bruno Soares. Petzschner/Peya fell to 0-5 in ATP World Tour doubles finals together.