Centre Court took center stage for the men's Wimbledon doubles final with Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo taking home the title after four hours and 40 minutes - 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(2), 3-6, 13-11 against Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who put up a resilient battle.
Late break heads the way of Marach/Pavic
Serving to begin this final, Melo and Kubot was taking to deuce after being 40-15 ahead. But the Brazilian stood firm as he and Kubot held. Mate Pavic, had no such problems in holding to get he and Marach on the board in the final at 1-1.
Kubot and Marach also held serve with all four players getting through their service games with serve dominating early proceedings. The next five games went with serve as both teams continued to dominate on serve with only the two points being dropped throughout with the match at 5-4 in favor of the Pole/Brazilian pairing.
Serving in the tenth game, Pavic and Marach were taken to 30-all, being put under pressure but the Croatian quickly denied the fourth seeds any hope of winning the game by eventually holding, 5-5. With the Pole now serving, he was also put under some pressure but this time, faltered, allowing the 16th seeds to gain a break point opportunity, the first of the entire set at 30-40.
A forehand return winner from the Austrian caught the line and after Hawkeye intervened, he and Pavic broke to serve for the set. Which they, did to love to take the opener 5-7 after 40 minutes.
Kubot/Melo draw level
The start of the second went in the same pattern as the first, with serve dominating as all four players got on the board with the scores level at 2-2. In the fifth game, however, the Melo serve came under some pressure. Locked at 30-all in the game, the Brazilian served up a double fault with a shaky second serve which gave the 16th seeds a break point chance.
A solid first serve followed by a Kubot smash at the net sent the game to deuce with a break point being saved. The Brazilian then hit two more big serves to hold serve for 3-2 and avoid going even further down in the match. Pavic, who had been solid on serve held to love to keep in touch with the fourth seeds and level the set at 3-3.
The next two service games saw the set open up momentarily with Kubot and Melo both taken to 30-all but coming away unscathed as the two teams continued to battle away at 4-4. Serve was continuing to dominate the match and did so even more in the next three games as Marach/Pavic found themselves serving to take the second into a tiebreaker.
But the Pole/Brazilian had other ideas and earned a set point at love-40. The pair of Marach/Pavic saved all three, sending the game to deuce. But after earning a game point, they went behind a fourth set point. This time, Kubot/Melo took their chances, broke and won the set 7-5.
Kubot/Melo take a two-sets to one lead
With the score locked at one set apiece, this final was anyone's game as the both teams up to now looked even especially on serve. Just like in the previous two sets, the opening four games went with the serve, once again serve dominating the set up to now.
In the fifth and sixth games, the server allowed the opposition into the match with the game being taken to 30-all but again, the big serve got the fourth and 16th seeds out of any potential danger that loomed.
For the remainder of the set, both teams continued to match each other, showing great skills at the net and confidence in their play with the third set being decided via the tiebreaker. The first five points went with serve with the fourth seeds ahead 3-2. They then won the two points on the Austrian's serve, taking control of the breaker to lead 5-2.
A set point arrived in the very next game for the fourth seeds with a solid serve followed by a smash from Kubot. The Pole/Brazilian sealed the set on the next point with the 33-year-old hammering down an unreturnable first serve for 7-6(2) and two sets to one lead.
16th seeds level to send the match to a decider
At the start of the fourth, three of the four players held their serve with the Austrian/Croatian pair ahead 1-2. In the fourth game, Kubot/Melo came from love-30 behind to take a 30-40 lead in the game. But Marach/Pavic sent the game to deuce before a Pavic forehand return clipped the line to bring up a break point for him and Marach at advantage.
Melo denied the pair with a solid unreturnable first serve. However, the pair of Marach/Pavic would bring up a second break point chance with the Croatian once again hitting a delightful return winner. The Austrian then fired a couple of shots at Melo, who couldn't handle the power and succumbed to fall behind in the set at 1-3.
But the fourth seeds after having one break point saved broke immediately back with a Melo smash at the net. Once again, the serving player failed to hold onto his serve as this time, the Pole was broken with the 16th seeds breaking for the second time in three service games. The pair of Marach/Pavic were in danger of losing their break again but consolidated to take a 2-5 lead in the fourth.
The Pole/Brazilian pairing held their serve which left Marach/Pavic serving for the set. 15-30 up in a crucial game, Pavic earned a set point with his second volley going down the middle. An unreturnable second serve did the job for March with him and Pavic taking the match to a fifth set, 3-6 after three hours of play.
Kubot/Melo clinch the biggest title of their career in a marathon fifth set
All square at two sets all, the final was nicely poised. With the roof open, the four players on the court all held their opening service games with serve beginning to dominate just like in sets three and four. The next three service games all went with the server too as the final set seemed to be tight with the score now at 4-3 in favor of Kubot/Melo, the fourth seeds.
In the eighth game, however, the set started to open up with Marach/Pavic taken to a rare deuce game. But they came through that game to keep in touch with their opponents, who dropped the two points on serve en route to going 4-5 ahead. In the tenth game, the 16th seeds were put under some severe pressure with Kubot/Melo forcing them to three deuces before eventually prevailing from the game to level at 5-5 and stay in touch.
The fourth seeds held their serve and this time, more pressure was applied to the Croatian/Austrian pairing. With the sunlight now fading at the All England Club, Kubot/Melo squandered two match points in the 12th game with Marach/Pavic holding on for their lives. With four games passed and the score still locked at 8-8, Kubot/Melo had four break point opportunities saved by the 16th seeds.
Now locked at 11-11, the roof closed and following the resumption of the match, it would be Kubot/Melo who would break in the 24th game to love to seal the title 13-11. This then became the second longest doubles final in the Open Era. John McEnroe and Michael Stich prevailed 19-17 in the 1992 title match.