Paes-Bhupathi Pair Clinches Miami Title, Become World No. 1




Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi

Miami (USA): It’s another proud moment for Indian sports as the ‘Indian Express’, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, won their second title of the season by clinching the Sony Ericsson Open here to become number one in the ATP World Tour Doubles Team Rankings.

The pair, who have been playing together since the Aircel Chennai Open earlier this year, beat second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-7 (5) 6-2 10-5 in a pulsating encounter.

Paes and Bhupathi were up a break in the first set, but failed to close it out, and Mirnyi-Nestor came through the tie-break quite easily.

Bhupathi and Paes found their rhythm in the second set and were also helped by a double fault by Nestor in the fourth game. That enabled the Indians to take a 3-1 lead and they never looked back after that

Paes had, in fact won the title even last year with Lukas Dlouhy but for Bhupathi it was his first career title at Crandon Park.

The win takes the Indians ahead of World number one Bob and Mike Bryan for first place in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings and in the battle to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

“It’s still early for us. The season is broken down into four segments — this is just the first of them. If we”re still No. 1 after the US Open, then we’ll start getting excited,” said Bhupathi.

Paes finished runner-up to Nestor and Zimonjic with Lukas Dlouhy last year at the French Open, after he and the Czech won it in 2009.

“We love playing on the dirt. We got a month off now to get ourselves physically fit and get ready for a lot of long matches on the clay,” Paes said.

“The clay definitely helps us because we train so hard for it over the years but at the same time there are a lot of singles guys who play well on the dirt too. At the French Open, I think it’s one of the hardest slams to win, but if we’re physically right, I think it will be good,” he added.

This is the Indian duo’s second title this year after the season-opening Chennai Open. They won two French Opens and one US Open title prior to splitting up in 2006.

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Nupoor Bansal

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Hey, I’m Nupoor Bansal, 20, currently pursuing Journalism from DU. I have always been immensely interested in both playing and watching sports. Like most other cricket fanatics Sachin Tendulkar is THE God for me. Badminton, Tennis and Football are the other sports that interest me.

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