Karol Drzewiecki and Aleksandar Vukic defeated Hunter Johnson and Ruben Gonzales 6-4 6-4 to advance to the final of the Poznan Open in their very first event together. This is just a second professional final in doubles for the Australian, while Drzewiecki is fully focusing on this category of men’s events. The Pole is currently sitting on the 156th spot in the ATP Doubles Rankings and owns three Challenger Tour titles (Szczecin 2018, Andria 2019, Monterrey 2020).
Asked about how they teamed up together, Vukic replied, “He messaged me and he was like ‘You wanna play some dubs?’ You know, my body was finally healthy that I trusted (it) enough to go both singles and doubles, and I knew he was from the hometown here, so I knew it was gonna be good fun. We’re just enjoying it.”
It’s really been a blast for Drzewiecki and Vukic this week as they managed to reach the final with the loss of just one set. Enzo Couacaud and Maxime Janvier held a match point against them at 10-9 in the super-tiebreak, but two clean first serves from Vukic allowed the Polish-Australian pair to regroup and advance to the semifinals.
Great serving has definitely been something the two could rely on over the week. Vukic’s delivery is more about raw power, while the opponents have struggled to deal with Drzewiecki’s huge kick on the second serve. The Australian has been great on return as well, finding a lot of winners off his forehand. His partner is the more natural volleyer, who excels at poaching and cutting off passing shots of the opposition.
Understandably, Drzewiecki’s surname has been a nightmare for the international umpires in Poznan, and Vukic also hasn’t mastered its pronunciation–“No, I have no idea how to pronounce his surname, I just call him Karol,” said the 25-year-old, who seems to have really good chemistry with the five-months-older partner.
The Polish-Australian pair will take on Jiri Lehecka and Zdenek Kolar in the final. The Czech pair managed to knock out the top seeds, Fernando Romboli and David Vega Hernandez 6-7 6-4 10-8. Kolar is the much more experienced of the two, having taken a total of ten Challenger Tour titles in doubles over the years. He often pairs up with fellow Czechs and has trophies alongside the likes of Lukas Rosol, Roman Jebavy, or Adam Pavlasek.
Lehecka took his maiden Challenger title in doubles last month in Milan with Vit Kopriva. As his previous partner opted to focus on singles in Poznan, Kolar and Lehecka played with each other for the very first time. The 19-year-old will be on double duty on Saturday–before going against Drzewiecki and Vukic, he’ll take on Alexander Shevchenko in the singles semifinals.
Main Photo Credit: Paweł Rychter/Poznań Open 2021