Bruno Soares didn’t have much down time between his Australian Open doubles championship matches.
No worries, he won them both.
On Sunday afternoon, he added the mixed doubles title with Elena Vesnina to the men’s doubles championship he won with Jamie Murray.
Vesnina and Soares won the last four points of the match tiebreaker to take the mixed doubles title with a 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 with over American Coco Vandeweghe and Hora Tecau of Romania.
Just over 16 hours earlier after 1 a.m. Sunday Soares and Murray beat Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, also on Rod Laver Arena.
A Brazilian player had never won any title at the Australian Open.
And now the country has two.
Soares said he didn’t finish media commitments at Melbourne Park until 2 a.m. Sunday, then had to do some Brazilian press requests from his hotel room.
“I went to bed at 5, set my alarm for 11, woke up at 8:30 … been living on coffee ever since,” Soares said. “So I had 22 coffees already.”
Vesnina interjected, laughing: “I got a (text) message from him at 4:30 (a.m.), ‘I’m ready, partner’.”
It was all worth it, Soares said.
“I knew I had another important day today, you don’t get a chance to play many Grand Slam finals,” he said. ‘I mean, I got two in the same day.”
Vesnina and Soares fell behind 3-0 in the tiebreaker before coming back to take a 6-3 lead. After the margin was reduced to 6-5, Vesnina and Soares won the last four points of the match.
It ended some Grand Slam mixed doubles finals frustration for Vesnina, a Russian who has two women’s doubles titles in majors.
It was Vesnina’s fourth mixed doubles final, and first win.
“Four times lucky,” said Vesnina, who received a message from Soares at the end of December asking if she would be his mixed doubles partner in Australia.
“I don’t like to set up that early for mixed because you never know how you’re going to do in singles and doubles,” Vesnina said.
“But when Bruno texted me, I texted back `let’s do that’,” Soares said the level of excitement in Brazil over his achievements was high.
“It’s the first time a Brazilian guy competes in two Grand Slam finals in the same event,” he said “They were talking a lot about that.
And winning both makes it even more special.
“It’s tough to compare or relate anything to Guga (the nickname for Gustavo Kuerten, who won three French Open singles titles). He’s such a hero for us. He’s so above the sport and everything else. But for me it’s a massive achievement. It doesn’t get much better than that. I came here to play two events and I won both.”
Soares says he hopes his win will give tennis a boost in his home country ahead of the Olympics in August.
He visited the tennis complex in Rio in December and gave it the thumbs-up.
“You guys hear a lot of things about Brazil … not all the time that good,” he said. “We’re famous for hosting well, for welcoming. We’re very warm country. I hope it’s going to be an amazing Games.”