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Cabal-Farah win the US Open in doubles and give Colombia its second Grand Slam

Cabal-Farah win the US Open in doubles and give Colombia its second Grand Slam

In less than two months, two Grand Slam: Colombian duo Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah were crowned US Open men’s doubles champions, accompanied by hundreds of fans with flags and jerseys of the national team.

“Colombia champion!” (Colombia champion), rumbled from the stands before Farah’s first serve: it was the prelude to what would happen an hour and a half later, when the couple, head of the world ranking, made an Olympic lap around the center court Arthur Ashe carrying the trophy and the national tricolor, and accompanied by little Jacobo, Cabal’s son.

Cabal-Farah had just won the doubles Wimbledon less than two months ago and with this US Open, they became the first South American pair to win two great titles in a row.

The Colombians beat the pair made up of the Spanish Marcel Granollers and the Argentine Horacio Zeballos in straight sets with partials of 6-4, 7-5.

“It was unreal, I wonder if it’s a dream, two slams in a row, it’s a real dream,” said Farah. “I want to thank Sebas for helping me through these weeks.”

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“Colombia, thank you very much for making this impressive,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter where we are, it’s awesome.”

In addition to winning Wimbledon, against the French Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, they also joined the Barcelona and Eastbourne tournaments this year, as well as the ATP 1000 Masters in Rome. They were finalists in Sydney and the Cincinnati Masters.

Last year, they lost in the semifinal to later champions Mike Bryan and Jack Sock, who also won Wimbledon at the time.

It was time to repeat the feat, in a game that was complicated at times, mainly by wasting 10 break chances and achieving only three, keys to winning the game.

Granollers and Zeballos, eighth seeded, had reached the final undefeated with 10-0 as a team.

The US Open was their second tournament together, after they won the Montreal Open.

Granollers adds a third defeat in the Grand Slam finals after falling at the Roland Garros and US Open in 2014 with his compatriot Marc López.

The last Spanish doubles title at the US Open went to Sergio Casal and Emilio Sánchez in 1988.

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Zeballos was contesting his first Grand Slam final, after reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2013 and the US Open in 2010. No Argentine has ever won a doubles title in the “Open era.”

– “Pela’o’s dream” –

The Colombian fans filled the lower part of the Ashe, wearing T-shirts and waving flags and banners, which they used for the soccer team, which has not given as many joys as this pair.

Mauricio Nieves, a special education teacher who has lived in New York for nine years, was one of them. He has followed tennis since before he moved, since the days of Fabiola Zuluaga.

He celebrated each point with a “yeaaaaaah” in English, while he explained to his friend Mario Charris, not very knowledgeable in this sport, what was happening on the track.

“I never thought that a Colombian would get here, it’s impressive,” Nieves, who watched the Wimbledon final on television, told AFP. “This is a pela’o dream,” continued this man, who when he can work as an actor and comments that he was an extra in the new version of “West Side Story” by Steven Spielberg.

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Farah is the son of Lebanese immigrants who was born by chance in Montreal, Canada, while his partner hails from Cali, Colombia’s third city, where the two became friends since he was five years old and grew up and trained together all their lives. They consider themselves “brothers of another mother.”

Although they played together from an early age, it was only in 2011 that they decided to sacrifice their individual careers and begin their doubles journey.

They dedicated the title to businessman Roberto Cocheteux, who died on August 20, one of the pioneers and sponsors of Colombian tennis.

“There is no better way to say thank you than by winning a tournament,” Farah said. “It was very difficult two weeks ago, we made the decision to fight for him, to honor him, we are here for Colsanitas (the deceased businessman’s health company), I hope he is in heaven seeing us, resting in peace,” Cabal said. AFP

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