First there was one of the longest doubles finals in Wimbledon history. And then there was one of the shortest. The men’s final was the first match on Centre Court following the women’s singles championship Saturday.
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 13-11 in a match that lasted 4 hours, 40 minutes only 21 minutes shorter than the longest men’s doubles final in history.
That was followed by the women’s doubles final, which Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won 6-0, 6-0 over Chan Hao-ching and Monica Niculescu.
The last 20 minutes of the men’s final was played under a closed roof because of darkness. The entire women’s match was played indoors on the Centre Court grass.
The roof was closed for the women’s final earlier in the day because of rain, but it was open at the start of the men’s doubles match. But at 8:40 p.m., the roof was closed again because of darkness.
“When we stopped, we know we have to be strong at this moment,” Melo said. “I played the final here before. I know I have to manage this if you want to succeed and be a Grand Slam champion.”
With the win, Melo will return to the No. 1 ranking in men’s doubles. For both Melo and Kubot, it is their second Grand Slam title. Melo won the 2015 French Open with Ivan Dodig. Kubot won the 2014 Australian Open with Robert Lindstedt.
The longest men’s doubles final in Wimbledon history was in 1992, when John McEnroe and Michael Stich beat Jim Grabb and Richey Reneberg 5-7, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17. That match lasted 5:01 and was also the final with the most games played at 83. The women’s doubles final began at 9:30 p.m. and lasted 55 minutes.
“We were sitting and waiting. We knew that it’s going to be five sets. We knew it was going to be drama at the end. We knew it was going to be something,” Vesnina said. “Martina Navratilova told us, ‘Do you know you girls have to finish till 11?’
“After the first set, I looked at the clock. OK, we’re still fine.” It was Makarova and Vesnina’s third Grand Slam title together. The 2016 Olympic doubles champions won the French Open in 2013 and the U.S. Open in 2014.
The result was the first “double bagel” in the women’s doubles final since 1953, when Shirley Fry and Doris Hart beat Maureen Connolly and Julia Sampson 6-0, 6-0.