PIF ATP Rankings Update

Granollers and Zeballos reach glory as No. 1 in doubles

Spanish and Argentine take the top of the doubles for the first time

May 06, 2024

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos rise to No. 1 in the PIF ATP Doubles Rankings.
By Alvaro Branch

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos entered ATP Tour history this Monday, rising to No. 1 in the PIF ATP Doubles Rankings for the first time in their careers. After competing together for more than four years, Spaniard and Argentine climb simultaneously to the first position on the circuit.

After reaching the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open last week, emotions ran high in the Caja Mágica for two great veterans of the locker room. Marcel (38) and Horacio (39) completed a spectacular dream at a sporting level to keep the flame of great goals alive.

“I still don’t believe it,” Granollers admits to the ATP Tour, his face lighting up with the emotion of what he has achieved. “On Monday we will come out as No. 1 but obviously there is a very long and complicated road. Doing it in my country, with a full court, with my people,… Getting it here has been very special. “It is an achievement that is very important in my career. I am proud to have endured difficult times, both in my singles and doubles career. I have been able to overcome those moments, endure and now I have that reward.”

“I am very happy with what we achieved as a team and as players,” said Zeballos, the first Argentine man to rise to No. 1 in a PIF ATP Rankings. “It’s a dream. Since we played tennis, we always say ‘I want to be number 1’. We achieved it and it is a beautiful emotion. We shared it not only with the team but with Marcel, his brother, and I also had the opportunity that my family was here. It was beautiful”.

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Granollers and Zeballos have built a path of perseverance in their adventure to the top of the sport. Since they began working together in the 2019 season, they have managed to win seven trophies, including five ATP Masters 1000 crowns and three Grand Slam finals, becoming one of the most respected duos on the ATP Tour. Qualified for the last four editions of the Nitto ATP Finals, solidity has been one of the great consolidated pillars of the couple.

“It coincided that both Horacio and I had our individual careers and we did not have all the focus on the doubles,” explained Marcel. Now, we have been playing only doubles for four years and that gives you more time to prepare for the matches, more time to train specific details that are needed for doubles. These are things that you cannot do in the same way when you have an individual career. At the game level, we can both adapt well to all types of surfaces, we have skills for individual and doubles play, when one thing or another is needed more we can do it. We are two quite complete players and we have gotten along very well.”

“The key has been consistency,” agrees Zeballos. “We have not won a Grand Slam but we became No. 1 in the world. To be No. 1 in the world you have to have no less than 6,000 points. That means that the whole year has gone very well. That means that one comes working, getting to know more and more about the person next to you, the team we are with, him with his brother and me with my coach Ale, every day we are the four of us who sit down to see what to do to improve and we are. achieving. Precisely with that union and with that way of being able to tell each other things freely. The relationship that I have had with Marcel for many years is what makes the level good.”

For players who have touched glory, ambition does not end with reaching first position on the circuit. With a very extensive professional career behind them and an ever-widening string of successes, the competitive hunger remains well lit for two players willing to squeeze every last drop out of their careers.

“The only way to stay at this level, in this jungle that is terrible competition, is to look for new objectives. Always looking to want more and more. If you stay there a little in the mold they pass you over. You have to look for new objectives. One of the objectives is to try to go for a Grand Slam,” acknowledged Zeballos, excited to win any of the big four after reaching the milestone with Marcel at the US Open (2019) and Wimbledon (2021, 2023). “If it doesn’t work out, I’m going to stay calm and with the peace that I did everything possible. “I don’t want to be left with anything in the tank.”

“I hope it comes,” agreed Granollers, who added two other major finals with Marc López before competing with the Argentine. “Reaching No. 1 was something that we also valued with a ‘I hope it comes’. With daily work, in the end we only have to think about improving. We have to go with the enthusiasm with which we are going. I hope I can arrive.”

At the national level, both have achieved enormously important milestones. Granollers has become the second Spanish man able to rise to No. 1 in doubles, following in the footsteps of Emilio Sánchez-Vicario in the 1989 season for six weeks. In the case of Zeballos, the feat has an unprecedented significance in Argentine tennis, something that generated delirium in the South American country.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Horacio acknowledged, overwhelmed by the impact his achievement had on the other side of the Atlantic. “Tennis is a very important sport in Argentina, although doubles is not so important. But it is a very football sport! I am fascinated by football, it is what is talked about the most. Now, tennis became one of the most important things. That also fills me with pride because people were paying attention.”

“I know what it has cost me, both my individual and doubles careers,” Granollers explained. “Individually I’m sure there were much more talented people, but I tried my best. I think I got a good career. When things weren’t going so well I went for doubles and made a good decision. It is another path that has allowed me to achieve things that, as an individual, I was not capable of achieving due to my level. In doubles I can choose bigger things.”

In a modality where trust in each other is fundamental, where rapport is the path to opportunities, success falls in the hands of two guys who know each other with their eyes closed.

Source: https://www.atptour.com/es/news/granollers-zeballos-feature-no-1-mayo-2024

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