CERMAK/KNOWLE SAVE 4 M.P. TO CAPTURE KITZBÜHEL TITLE OVER BROWN/HANLEY
Top seeds Frantisek Cermak and Julian Knowle completed a dramatic comeback on Saturday to clinch the bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel doubles title.
Cermak and Knowle, playing their first doubles final together since 2002 Umag, saved four match points in the Match tie-break to defeat second seeds Dustin Brown and Paul Hanley 7-6(4), 3-6, 12-10 in one hour and 42 minutes.
Brown and Hanley led 8-3 in the Match tie-break and had three match point opportunities at 9-5. Cermak and Knowle could not convert their match point chance at 10-9, but sealed victory at 11-10.
Cermak and Knowle split €19,660 in prize money and earn 250 ATP Doubles Team Rankings points, while Brown and Hanley share €10,330 and 150 points.
"This is like a dream come true," said Knowle, a Vienna resident. "I still remember playing the first singles match on the opening day of the Center Court here about 20 years ago. I lost [against Christian Saceanu] after having several match points.
"Today it was the opposite and I’m very happy that we made it. We were the lucky ones in the Match tie-break. One or two points decided the match. I really enjoyed the week. The atmosphere was great, the weather too and this week is very special to me here in Kitzbühel."
Watched by his one-year-old daughter Alicia, Knowle said, "When she was six weeks old she came to a Challenger, which we won too. Maybe she could come with me more often."
Cermak is now 28-20 in tour-level finals, while Knowle improved to 14-17 in title matches. Brown dropped to 2-2 and Hanley to 26-22 in finals.