Nadal & Marc Lopez Win the Men’s Doubles Gold in Tennis at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

Rafael Nadal has taken full advantage of a golden opportunity…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star has added a second Olympic tennis gold medal to all of his Grand Slam trophies, teaming with childhood friend Marc Lopez to win the men’s doubles championship for Spain at the 2016 Rio Games.

Rafael Nadal & Marc Lopez

Nadal and Lopez came back from a break down in the third set and claimed the last three games to beat Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the final Friday.

Nadal, a 14-time champion at major tournaments, also won an Olympic title in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games after defeating Chile’s Fernando González. This is the first medal for Lopez.

The silver for Mergea and Tecau is the first tennis medal for Romania in Olympic history.

The bronze went to Steve Johnson and Jack Sock of the United States. They beat the Canadian team of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-4 earlier Friday.

It was another busy day for Nadal, who won his singles quarterfinal in three sets earlier Friday.

Nadal does not play doubles often on tour, focusing on a singles career that has included stints at No. 1 in the rankings and a record nine French Open titles.

Of his nine previous doubles championships, four came with Lopez as his partner, although they hadn’t played even one match together this year until arriving in Brazil.

Lopez won his first Grand Slam doubles title at the French Open in June, pairing with Feliciano Lopez to beat American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in that final.

Marc Lopez & Feliciano Lopez Win Their First-Ever Grand Slam Doubles Title at the French Open

The third time’s the charm for Marc López

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player and his compatriot Feliciano Lopez won the French Open on Saturday for their first Grand Slam doubles title, denying Bob and Mike Bryan a 17th major trophy.

Marc Lopez & Felciano Lopez

It was Marc Lopez’s third Grand Slam final appearance, having finished runner-up at Roland Garros and at the US Open two years ago alongside Marcel Granollers. It was Feliciano Lopez’s first Grand Slam doubles final.

The duo became the first Spanish pair to win at Roland Garros in 26 years with a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 victory over their American rivals.

Marc Lopez & Felciano Lopez

The No. 15 seeds played together only once before at a major tournament and had to struggle to get to the final.

They saved six match points in their quarterfinal win over 2014 champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They went to three sets before downing defending champions Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the semifinals.

The Bryans, the most successful pairing of all time, were seeking a third title on the red clay following victories in 2003 and 2013.

“The tough thing about us is that if we don’t leave with the big trophy it’s devastating,” Bob Bryan said. “We have high standards, and sometimes that makes it not fun, because we can’t get any kind of enjoyment out of a final or semi like maybe some other players.

“You know, that’s the burden that we carry. We’re feeling that pain right now. We don’t take any solace out of leaving with the square plate.”

Feliciano Lopez sealed the Spaniards’ win with an ace, and both partners fell on their backs in jubilation.

“You can’t imagine what it means to win a Grand Slam for the first time, against the best players in the sport,” Feliciano Lopez said.

The fifth-seeded Bryans saved a match point in the tiebreaker before evening it 1-1 in sets, but their rivals returned better in the decider and converted two of three break points.

“Winning a Grand Slam is something amazing, and I didn’t have a Grand Slam victory on my résumé,” Marc Lopez said. “Roland Garros is my favorite tournament. It has been the case for quite a long time. When I was a kid, I was watching the matches of great champions, the Spanish champions.”

The previous Spanish doubles team to win the French Open was Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1990.

López Reaches First Grand Slam Final Ever in French Open Men’s Doubles

Feliciano López has reached his first Grand Slam final…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis player and his compatriot Marc López defeated defending champions Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Friday to reach their first French Open final as a team.

Marc Lopez & Feliciano Lopez

Dodig and Melo saved two match points serving at 4-5 in the deciding set, but succumbed two games later.

It will be Marc Lopez’s third Grand Slam final appearance, having finished runner-up at Roland Garros and at the US Open two years ago alongside Marcel Granollers.

Feliciano Lopez is into his first Grand Slam final since finishing runner-up at the 1998 Roland Garros junior doubles tournament.

Lopez/Lopez are aiming to become the first all-Spanish team to win the Roland Garros doubles title since Sergio Casal/Emilio Sanchez in 1990.

They saved six match points in their quarterfinal win over 2014 champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

The Spaniards will face Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who raced to the finish in a 7-5, 6-1 semifinal win against Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya.

Melo & Ivan Dodig Win French Open Men’s Doubles Title

It’s a special first for Marcelo Melo

The 31-year-old Brazilian tennis player and his doubles partner Ivan Dodig rallied from near defeat to upset two-time French Open champions and top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-5 in the Roland Garros men’s doubles final on Saturday.

Marcelo Melo & Ivan Dodig

In the process, Melo and Dodig captured their first Grand Slam title as a team, having previously finished runner-up to the Bryans in the 2013 Wimbledon final.

They exacted revenge on the American twins after also falling in the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals title match, overcoming a set and a break deficit.

Both teams remained on serve in the third set until 5-5, when Melo’s quick hands at the net gave them the decisive break. A Dodig lunging forehand winner would hand them their first championship point a game later, which they converted after two hours and 15 minutes.

“It was a great atmosphere,” said Melo during the on-court ceremony. “We thought we could do big things when we got together four years ago and our faith paid off. It wasn’t easy playing with Guga there in the stands, but thank you for coming to support us.”

“Thank you to all the people who came to watch a great match,” added Dodig. “We will continue to play many more tournaments.”

The Brazilian-Croatian tandem won their third tour-level title together. They also triumphed at the 2013 Shanghai Rolex Masters and 2015 Abierto Mexicano Telcel. With Gustavo Kuerten in the crowd, Melo became the first Brazilian champion at Roland Garros since 2001, when “Guga” won the men’s singles title.

The Bryans, meanwhile, were bidding to claim an Open Era record third Roland Garros team title and an unprecedented 17th overall at the Grand Slam level.

“Congratulations to Ivan and Marcelo,” said Bob. “It was a great match today. They’re good friends of ours and it’s good for the game. Got to thank the crowd for sticking around, it was a great atmosphere. Lastly, we’d like to thank our team. It’s great having my wife and the kids on the road.”

Verdasco Beats Nicolas Almagro to Win the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship

It’s “sweet No. 6” for Fernando Verdasco

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player, currently ranked No. 29 in the world, beat his fellow countryman Nicolas Almagro in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (4), to win the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday.

Fernando Verdasco

The victory marks Verdasco’s sixth ATP World Tour singles title and his first singles since April 2010.

With the win, Verdasco ends a six-match losing streak in tournament finals.

He also reached the doubles final and had been on the court six hours longer than Almagro going into the final.

“I’m so tired I don’t know if I can talk so much,” said Verdasco, seeded fourth in the Houston, Texas-based tournament..

Almagro had a walkover in the semifinals when American Sam Querrey pulled out due to a back injury.

Almagro, he tournament’s third-seed reached set point five times against Verdasco’s serve in the ninth game of second set, but couldn’t convert. He also up a mini-break in the tiebreaker before Verdasco rallied.

It’s the second second-place finish in the tournament for Almagro, who lost to John Isner last year.

To date, Almagro has won four of his six singles titles on clay.

“You are never happy when you lose a final,” Almagro said. “I had my chances. But I credit Fernando.”

On Saturday night in the doubles final, twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan beat Verdasco and David Marrero 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.

Marrero & Verdasco Take Down the Bryan Brothers to Clinch ATP World Tour Finals Doubles Title

The first time’s the charm for David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco

Following their unexpected win in the semifinals at their first-ever ATP World Tour Finals, the Spanish tenistas upset the top-seeded Bryan brothers to win the doubles title at the O2 Arena.

David Marrero & Fernando VerdascoDavid Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

The sixth seeds had never even qualified for the year-end tournament before and had lost all three of their previous matches against the world No 1 partnership. But they triumphed in a stellar match 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 10-7.

They saved four set points in the first set, Verdasco recovering from 0-40 down at 4-5, and the left-hander, still one of the most dangerous customers on the singles circuit, was the key man in a gripping contest.

David Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

In the next game, Mike Bryan double faulted at 15/30 to gift two break point opportunities to Marrero and Verdasco. He saved the first with a fine backhand crosscourt winner, but Verdasco clinched the game when his stinging forehand was too much for Bob Bryan, who could only volley long.

And the Spaniards clinched the next game to win the first set.

Verdasco’s forehand, one of the most devastating and feared shots on the men’s tour, got the Spaniards out of trouble time and time again. But the American twins – who had won the title three times before – hit back to level it up by winning the second set on the tiebreak.

There was just one mini-break in the deciding Champions tiebreak and it was set up by another sensational Verdasco forehand down-the-line winner.

On match point Bob Bryan could only chip a Verdasco serve long and the sixth seeds could celebrate becoming the third all-Spanish pair to win the title after Juan Gisbert and Manuel Orantes in 1975 and last year’s champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

The Bryans finished No 1 for a fifth straight year and a record ninth time overall. They have won 11 titles this season, including the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Marrero & Verdasco Reach the Doubles Final at the ATP World Tour Finals

David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco have the chance to end the year with a bang…

The 33-year-old and 29-year-old Spanish tennis players beat Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 7-6 (10), 7-5 to reach the doubles final at the ATP World Tour Finals.

David Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

It’s only their first time competing at the season-ending championships of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour, featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams of the ATP rankings.

Dodig and Melo had won all three of their matches in the round robin stage of the tournament, while the sixth-seeded Spaniards lost one match in round robin play.

Marrero and Verdasco will next face three-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan, who advanced to the final after defeating No. 2 Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 4-6, 6-4, 10-8.

Earlier this year, Marrero and Verdasco won the St. Petersburg Open, their first and only ATP World Tour team title of the season.