Leander Paes of India and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek beat the all-Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for the doubles tennis title at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, on Sunday.
It was not an easy win for the Indo-Czech duo. After losing the nail-biter first set 6-7, Paes and Stepanek decided to give it their all in the rest of the match.
They fought back immediately and were back in the match as they won the second set 6-3.
In the deciding set, Leander and Stepanek won the tie-break 10-5 and with it won the title.
The fourth seeded Indo-Czech pair saved four of the five break points and broke their seventh seed opponents twice to pocket the match and the trophy in one hour and 36 minutes.
In this battle of the three Indians, it was kind of a sweet revenge for Paes as both Bhupathi and Bopanna had refused to play with him at the London Olympics. They had rebelled and forced AITA to pair them together at the marquee event.
Paes and Stepanek, who have already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, earned 1000 ATP World Tour ranking points and $207,320. Bopanna and Bhupati can make the cut too; with four spots remain at the year-end championship, by receiving 600 ranking points.
“We`ve had a great year,” said Paes. “It started off with a big bang. To do well early in a partnership is something that can happen. But to continue playing well right through the whole year shows the quality of tennis that we play.”
It was 51st tour-level title for the 39-year-old Paes and second in Shanghai.