Daniell and Oswald come up just short in Doha final
New Zealand doubles player Marcus Daniell and his Austrian partner Philipp Oswald have had to settle for runner up at the ATP 250 tournament in Doha.
After beating the Australian Open doubles champions in the first round and the world number one ranked team in the semi-finals, Daniell and Oswald have lost 7-5 6-4 in 1 hour 21 to Russians Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev.
It was an extremely tight match with the Russian pair winning 65 points and Daniell and Oswald 60. Both Russians are superb ball strikers with Rublev ranked number eight in the world in singles and Karatsev having an astonishing run as a qualifier to the Australian Open semi-finals last month.
Daniell says it was a extremely close match.
“We actually had a lot of opportunities to break but they came up with some big serves and we didn't finish a few volleys. They just played the big points a little better than us and had the luxury of having zero tension. But still a good week for us with some big wins.” Daniell said.
The Kiwi Austrian combo fought back from an early break down in the opening set but were broken again in the 12th game to lose the set 7-5.
It was a closely fought second set too with just the one break of serve going the way of the Russians. Daniell and Oswald will lament the fact they only converted one of their five break point chances with Rublev and Oswald taking three of their six chances.
Daniell and Oswald will move onto the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai in a confident frame of mind however after their wins over the in-form Aussie Open champions Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek and world number one ranked Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah this week.
The Kiwi number two is projected to climb to 39 in the ATP doubles rankings, just five places off his career high of 34.