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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday July 10, 2021

 
Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic

Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic became the first all-Croatian duo to ever win Wimbledon, winning their eighth title and first Grand Slam.

Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic have won their first Grand Slam title. The dominant duo becomes the first all-Croatian team to win a Wimbledon title and they move into the Olympics with momentum after defeating Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers 6-4, 7-6, 2-6, 7-5.

Tennis Express

With the victory Mektic and Pavic improve to 48-5 on the season with eight titles – an absolutely spectacular record for their first season as a pair. And they’ve won this titles in spite of being ruled out of Roland-Garros due to a positive Covid-19 test result just before the tournament began.

Tennis now caught up with the dynamic duo at their post-final press conference after the final to chat about their remarkable achievement.


Tennis Now: What was your reaction after having the difficulties at Roland Garros and what happened there? Did that make it more important coming to Wimbledon?

Mate Pavic:

No, I mean, it feels special anyway. But yeah, I mean, we had a tough, tough time with those 10 days of being stuck in the room, being sick obviously. It was not fun.

Luckily we were able to play Queen's right away after the French Open. We lost an easy match, but we got to play two matches. We went to Eastbourne, we won there, so we got back the confidence a bit. We played couple of matches on grass. I think overall that helped us a lot coming to Wimby more or less ready for it.

In the end of the day we played three tough matches. We got back from that quarters Love-2 down. That was a tough match. Physically we were ready to do it. We were fighting throughout the week. I mean, corona is behind us for now. We're happy to be here where we are.

Tennis Now: You talked about it on court, how special it is to win this title as a Croatian duo, with the history of Goran here, can you elaborate on how important that is to you?

Nikola Mektic:

Yeah, it's definitely the most special tournament for both of us. It is for many players, but for us especially because of Goran, because of how we grew up. That was, like, the first association to tennis when I first saw tennis. It was Wimbledon, it was Goran.

It has always been the most special tournament for me. I also think for Mate. I think that's why maybe we were able to get through all those things, through corona, because the motivation is always special for this tournament.

We kept pushing. We got in the quarters. We came from two sets to love down just because how special this tournament feels and just the motivation we get here. We just don't want to give up here until it's really done.

That was what's was our motor was pushing us at whole time.

Tennis Now: Do you guys have a nice relationship with Goran?

Mate Pavic:

Yeah, I mean, we all are—we have a good relationship with Goran. We've been hanging out a lot these two weeks. I practiced with Novak a few times warming him up for the lefties. Goran would give us a call always if he needs a sparring partner. He was here this week. Actually we were hanging out this morning also on the breakfast and stuff.

Yeah, it's a special feeling. It's been 20 years since that final of his, the Monday final, the special one. For us it's special. Especially for me, I come from Split also. I grew up also with that final, watching it as a kid, Wimbledon is special.

It's tough to explain how we feel right now.

Tennis Now:

What would you say about the Centre Court experience? Seems like there is more energy for doubles at Wimbledon than the other slams.

Nikola Mektic:

Yeah, definitely is. The fans here are amazing. They really love tennis. They really appreciate doubles, I feel like. That's why they come in such a big number. There is a big tradition behind this also. It's really special.

Also I have to mention London's Nitto Finals also. It was probably the second most special tournament for us. The crowd here really appreciate doubles. It's really nice for us to play in such a big, full stadium, to feel that energy. It's great.

I don't want to diminish the other Grand Slams, but I really think the crowd here, they come in much larger number. It's really nicer to play.

Tennis Now You've reached the top of the mountain in the tennis world, but a couple weeks from now you'll go to the Olympics. Do you have energy left to go after the gold?

Mate Pavic:

We do. Obviously we are very confident. That's going to help us a lot. I think we need to take some time off now, few days at least. We don't have much time because in I think seven or eight days we got to travel to Tokyo already.

I mean, obviously the schedule is not the best, but I think we have a good chance. We one of the favorites there. The way we played, I think there would be a good chance for us. Hopefully can get some rest next few days, go back home, then get ready for the Olympics.

 

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