Jeff Coetzee coaches his doubles team to victory in Spain

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Third seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, coached by South African Jeff Coetzee, won their 12th ATP Tour doubles title as a team on Sunday, defeating second seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-4, 7-6(4) to triumph at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
The Colombians have played more than 350 tour-level matches together and last year, for the first time, they qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals. Their long journey as a team keeps paying off.
“[It takes] a lot of patience. It’s just resilience I think, sticking together and improving together and moving forward, pushing each other to achieve more goals through the years. I think this week that’s what we did. We pushed hard,” Farah said. “We both came out as a team and we got the victory.”
Revenge was sweet for the Colombians, as they lost to Murray and Soares in the Sydney final in January, their only other championship match this season. In fact, Cabal and Farah entered Sunday’s clash having lost four consecutive matches against the British-Brazilian duo, including last year’s Cincinnati final.
But Cabal and Farah came from a break down in both sets and saved five set points in the second set to emerge victorious in Barcelona after one hour and 39 minutes. The Colombians saved nine of the 12 break points they faced.
It’s not long ago that the Colombians were unsure they’d be able to compete this week due to a Cabal injury. But holding the trophies, that seems a distant memory.
“It’s really special, especially this week. One week ago I didn’t know if I could play the tournament. I was really struggling with an injury and now we’re the champions,” Cabal said. “It was hard work, teamwork, and it’s more special than sometimes the other [wins]. It shows us that we’re doing things on the right track, so it’s good motivation for the rest of the year.”
Cabal and Farah leave Spain with 500 ATP Doubles Ranking points each and a share of €169,300. Murray and Soares fell short of lifting their 10th tour-level trophy as a team, but they take 300 points and a split of €82,880.
Did You Know?
Three of the first five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings between Cabal/Farah and Murray/Soares went to a Match Tie-break. But their four matches since have all gone in straight sets. Murray/Soares now lead their rivalry 6-3.