MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini became the first all Italian pair to win a grand slam men’s doubles title in almost 60 years when they beat Frenchmen Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-4 at the Australian Open on Saturday.
Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola were the last all-Italian pair to win a grand slam men’s doubles title at Roland Garros in 1959.
There was controversy in the first game of the second when the ball touched Mahut’s racquet three times in winning the point to take a 40-30 lead and while the Italians argued with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, he did not reverse his decision.
The Italians broke Mahut in the ninth game of the second set and Bolelli served out, sparking an exuberant celebration on Rod Laver Arena.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ed Osmond