For the second straight year, South Florida residents Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer have made themselves at home at the Delray Beach Open. The El Salvadoran-Dutch duo became the third team to repeat as champions at the ATP 250 with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Rinky Hijikata and Reese Stalder in Sunday's final.
"It's really special for us," Rojer said after the pair won its sixth title in the past 13 months. "Playing here is a treat. We really enjoy it. We spend most of our time practising in the area. We're happy to be back. We had a lot of success here last year, decided to come back and defended our title so we're super happy about that. We're just going to enjoy it for a few days."
After making their team debut in Delray Beach in 2021, the pair reunited in 2022 and won five titles, including the Roland Garros crown. The team is now on a seven-match winning streak in Delray Beach after twice winning the title as the top seeds.
"We're super happy that we were able to do it again," said the 32-year-old Arevalo. "There were other options that we could play but we stayed loyal to the Delray Beach Open and to the people here, to the crowd, this amazing crowd that we have here. We're extremely happy that we were able to play the tournament and ended up winning the tournament as well."
The champions lost just one set this week, in the semi-finals against Robert Galloway and John-Patrick Smith. In the final, Arevalo/Rojer saved all three break points they faced while breaking their opponents' serve once in each set. They lost only three points on first serve (29/32) in their one-hour, 14-minute victory.
"Our chemistry is our weapon and we try to make sure its on point for every match," said Rojer, 41, who claimed his 35th tour-level doubles trophy. "We had it going this week. Today we played a couple of guys that maybe were not as experienced in a lot of finals, although Rinky had that massive Australian Open final that he just played.
"But we wanted to impose with our presence and intensity and energy and see if we could get to them a little bit."
Hijikata/Stalder were making their ATP Tour team debut. The 21-year-old Hijikata won the Australian Open doubles title alongside fellow Aussie Jason Kubler last month and moved up three places in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Live Rankings to No. 32 this week. Stalder, 26, was playing his first tour-level event.