MELBOURNE: Italian pair Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini won their first Grand Slam doubles title on Saturday when they beat the French challenge of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the Australian Open final.
The unseeded Italians, who were in their ninth Grand Slam as a team, battled to a 6-4, 6-4 win in 1hr 22mins on Rod Laver Arena to become the first men from their country to claim a major doubles title since 1959.
They also became the first Italians to win at Melbourne Park.
“We played a great tournament, but I never thought we’d get this far. I’m so happy,” said Bolelli.
Herbert and Mahut, also unseeded, were playing together for the first time in Melbourne and said that despite losing they clicked and would continue as a team.
We tried our best but it wasn’t enough,” said Mahut.
“But it’s our first tournament together and I’m sure we’ll have success.”