From 9 this Monday, at the O2 Arena, together with the Spanish Marcel Granollers, he will play against the Australian John Peers and the New Zealander Michael Venus.
Monday’s day at the O2 Arena It will start with an Argentine on the court. Horacio Zeballos, number three in the world doubles ranking, will debut alongside the Spanish Marcel Granollers in the London Masters in the first game of the day, from 9 o’clock in our country and with televising of ESPN. The Argentine-Spanish duo, fourth favorite, will face the Australian John Peers and the New Zealander Michael Venus, sixth seeded.
Zeballos and Granollers are great candidates to win the title of the end of the year competition. They are the only couple on the circuit to have conquered more than one tournament this season. They were crowned in Buenos Aires and in Rio de Janeiro, before the coronavirus stoppage. And after the restart, champions screamed at the Masters 1000 in Rome, with a victory over the French Jeremy Chardy Y Fabrice Martin, And they were also finalists in Kitzbühel.
Those great performances allowed them to qualify for the “Masters” tournament, which the Mar del Plata will play for the first time in his career. The Spaniard, meanwhile, played it four times and won the 2012 edition with his compatriot Marc Lopez.
“Regarding the group, all the matches are tough. Each match is going to be a final and with a game as fast as the one on this track there are very few differences between the different couples,” Zeballos said in a press conference prior to the debut.
After dedicating himself at the start of his career to singles – he reached the 39th step of the world ranking and won a title, in that unforgettable final of Viña del Mar 2013 in which he had the pleasure of defeating Rafael Nadal – about three Zeballos years decided to change course and reinvented himself as a doubles player.
The man from Mar del Plata won his first doubles tournament in 2010 in Buenos Aires with Sebastián Prieto. Between 2011 and 2017, it added another six. In 2018, she won three more and began to focus her work on couple skills. But the quality jump came in 2019, after playing in Auckland (he fell in the first round of qualifying) his last singles tournament. Then all his energy was fully devoted to the doubles.
The bet paid off more than well. In just a couple of seasons, he became the first Argentine to reach the top 10 of the couples ranking – today he is third -, he added three titles in Masters 1000 – the last one, in Rome, allowed him to equal Guillermo Vilas as the maximum winner of doubles of Argentine tennis with 16 consecrations-, he reached the final of a Grand Slam -the US Open 2019- and now he will have the pleasure of playing the Masters for the first time.
“I am very happy to be here. It is an honor and a privilege. This is something that makes me very proud. The first sensations I had when I arrived were the memories of the past, for all the things I went through to reach this important moment of my career, “he commented a few days ago.
This Monday, when he takes to the field, he will cut a 16-year streak without Argentines in the couples tournament of the Masters. The last to play it had been Gaston Etlis Y Martin Rodriguez in 2004. Before, Daniel Orsanic also disputed it, in 2000 together with the Brazilian Jaime Oncins, Y Luis Lobo, in 1995 with Spanish Javier Sanchez.
The other duel of the group of the Argentine and the Spanish will dispute it, not before 15, the Brazilian Bruno Soares and the croatian Mate Pavic (1st) against the Austrian Jurgen Melzer and french Edouard Roger Vasselin (7°).
Sunday, for the group Mike Bryan, the American Rajeev Ram and the british Joe Salisbury (2nd) beat the Polish 7-5, 3-6 and 10-5 Lukasz Kubot and the Brazilian Marcelo Mello (8 °). And the dutch Wesley Koolhof and the croatian Nikola Mektic (5th) defeated the Germans 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-4) and 10-7 Kevin Krawietz Y Andreas Mies (3°).