A little piece of sporting history was made at the weekend at the Australian Open Tennis finals, when the Italian pair of Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli took the men's doubles title. By lifting the trophy, they became the first Italian pairing to claim a men's doubles title in a Grand Slam event for over fifty years. The duo overcame the French pairing of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-4 on Saturday in the final.

Both pairings went into the final after narrow victories in their last-four matches, winning by two sets to one, and neither were seeded.

As a result it was hard to pick a clear favourite come the final itself. Fognini and Bolelli had knocked out the number six seeds Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau from Romania so may have had a slight edge, especially given their previous successes in doubles. The French pair had confirmed their place in the final by defeating Croatia's Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo of Brazil in a tense three set semi-final that included two tie-breaks. Just to reach a Grand Slam final was an achievement in itself for the French pair, as they were something of an unknown force to many before the event, as it was just the third event that they had played together as a combination and they had not won a single match together previously.

The Italian pair emulated the victory by Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola way back in 1959 at the French Open. They had almost achieved the historic feat twice before in recent seasons, being knocked out of both the 2011 US Open and 2013 Australian Open at the semi-finals stage, so it was especially sweet for them to finally clinch a major title.

Bolelli echoed the thoughts of a nation when he said: "I think we did something amazing. For our nation, for our federation, for the people follow us (sic), who support us, all Italian people."

The men's doubles event had seen a succession of surprise results throughout the early rounds, with the favourites and number one seeds the American Bryan brothers being knocked out as early as the third round, by Dominic Inglot of Britain and Florin Mergea of Romania in two sets.