British Underdogs Challenge Croatians in Men’s Doubles Final

By Daniel Perissé

The unseeded British duo of Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski had no expectations for the 2021 Miami Open presented by Itaú. A couple of upsets later, they are now in the Men’s Doubles final against Croatians Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic, who seek their fourth title this season.

Neal Skupski came fresh off winning the Acapulco title with older brother Ken, but a blood clot in his right leg prevented the team from competing in Miami. So, his countryman decided to take on the challenge.

Evans stepped in as the perfect replacement: their first upset happened in the second round against multiple Grand Slam winners Brazilian Bruno Soares and British Jamie Murray, seeded fifth in the tournament.

In the semifinal, the Brits defeated upset Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Slovakia’s Flilp Polasek, the 2021 Australian Open champions, 7-6(4), 1-6, 10-8.

Now they play their first final together against Pavic and Mektic, who in 2021 have won the Antalya, Melbourne and Rotterdam titles, were the finalists in Dubai and reached the Australian Open semifinals. They beat Denver, Co., native Rajeev Ram and British Joe Salisbury 6-3, 7-6(5) to book a spot in the final.

The Miami Open Men’s Doubles final will happen not before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 3rd, on Grandstand, after the Women’s final.