23-year-old French Pierre-Hugues Herbert (VCORE Tour G, YONEX String) reached an outstanding milestone in his career, securing his first ATP tour title ever at the Rakuten Open in Tokyo, Japan. While he and his partner, Michal Przysiezny, were originally an unexpected entry into the main draw, the two amazed audiences with outstanding performances throughout every round. Facing off against Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen in the semifinal, Pierre and his partner showed great resolve coming back from a set down to clinch the match in the tiebreaker. The final score was 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-7.
The final match against Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo saw Pierre and Michal open very strong, but their opponents fought back in the second set to force a decider. Pierre and Michal returned in the final set, rushing to a 4-1 lead. While their opponents managed to even the score, the duo retaliated with a series of groundstroke winners to come up 8-5. Herbert claimed the match with a forehand volley win by way of his VCORE Tour G. The match ended at 6-3, 6-7(3), 10-5.
Pierre and Michal made it through three seeded pairs on their way to the top in this tournament. Opening by defeating the world renowned doubles experts Bryan brothers, the two continued to stun their opponents. Pierre’s performance at this year’s Rakuten Open paves the way for great things in the future.
We caught up with Pierre after his momentous win to get his thoughts. “It’s great to come here and play with YONEX’s racquets and strings in Japan and win the tournament,”. He then praised the skills of the YONEX stringing service, which supported him on his way to victory, “YONEX is really precise with everything they do. My racquets are really good, and I feel no difference between them.” Additionally during the award ceremony he commented, “I want to thank YONEX for the racquets I play with. Without them I wouldn’t be here. Thank you.”
The other YONEX doubles title came by way of Andrea Hlavackova (RQiS 2 Tour, POLYTOUR PRO 125) and her partner Peng Shuai against the No. 2 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza at the China Open in Wuhan. The pair took the match in just under 90 minutes, winning 67% of their first serve points, and saving nine break points while winning three. The final score was 6-4, 6-4. "I feel like here we played every match very well and that's a great, great feeling," said Andrea in a comment on the WTA website about her first victory with her new partner.
Rakuten Japan Open
Men’s Doubles [Round 1]
[LL]Pierre-Hugues Herbert (VCORE Tour G, YONEX String)(FRA)/Michal Przysiezny(POL) def. Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA) 4-6 6-3 10-4
Men’s Doubles [Quarterfinals]
[LL]Pierre-Hugues Herbert (VCORE Tour G, YONEX String)(FRA)/Michal Przysiezny(POL) def. Jamie Murray(GBR)/John Peers(AUS) 6-4 6-2
Men’s Doubles [Semifinals]
[LL]Pierre-Hugues Herbert (VCORE Tour G, YONEX String)(FRA)/Michal Przysiezny(POL) def. Eric Butorac(USA)/Raven Klaasen(ZAF) 4-6 7-6(2) 10-7
Men’s Doubles [Final]
[LL]Pierre-Hugues Herbert (VCORE Tour G, YONEX String)(FRA)/Michal Przysiezny(POL) def. Ivan Dodig(COR)/Marcelo Melo(BRA) 6-3, 6-7(3), 10-5
Women’s Doubles [Final]
Andrea Hlavackova (RQiS 2 Tour, POLYTOUR PRO 125)(CZE)/Peng Shuai(CHN) def. Cara Black(ZIM)/Sania Mirza(IND) 6-4 6-4