Perhaps Marcel Granollers and Sergiy Stakhovsky should start playing together more often. Although given Granollers’ string of success with first-time doubles partners, Stakhovsky joked that it will never happen again.
“Marcel said he always wins the tournament with a guy he plays with (for the) first time, so next time, I think we’re not going to play together,” Stakhovsky said.
Granollers has 17 doubles championships on Tour after he and Stakhovsky won the Hall of Fame Open doubles championship with a 6-7 (10), 6-4, 13-11 win over Marcelo Arevalo and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela on Sunday.
Of Granollers’ 17 doubles titles, six have come with first-time partners — Alberto Martin (Buenos Aires, 2009), David Marrero (Bastad, 2016), Marcin Matkowski (Tokyo, 2016), Jack Sock (Basel, 2016), Rajeev Ram (Paris, 2018) and now Stakhovsky.
“This is our last time,” Granollers said.
The Granollers-Stakhovsky partnership came together the Friday before the tournament began.
“Marcel was looking for a partner and he asked me to play,” Stakhovsky, who is from Russia, said of his Spanish teammate. “I was not sure because I was in Atlanta qualies. I said I wanted to play very good, so I needed to commit. Then I skipped Atlanta, but we won the doubles here, so that’s pretty much the story.”
Not only had the two never played together before, they barely practiced during their title run.
“We practiced only once together,” Granollers said.
“He was playing (singles) too early always,” Stakhovsky said. “But he was always ready for the doubles. He played singles and was ready for doubles.”
Granollers reached the semifinals of the singles draw, losing to Alexander Bublik on Saturday. Stakhovsky also was in the singles draw, but lost in the first round to Ramkumar Ramanathan.
“Any time you leave a place with a title, it’s always nice,” Granollers said. “In my case this week, I also played really good in singles, which was a good result for me.”