Success for Nestor and Mirnyi as Schwank and Cabal fall short
Monday 06 June 2011
Daniel Nestor of Canada and Max Mirnyi of Belarus won their first Grand Slam title together by defeating Eduardo Schwank of Argentina and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 in Saturday's Mens Doubles in the French Open.
It was Nestor's seventh major title in men's doubles and Mirnyi's fifth, all with different partners. "We knew on paper we're capable of playing well together," Mirnyi said, " but up until you produce a result, you never know."
The second-seeded Nestor and Mirnyi saved three break points in the first set to force a tiebreaker. But the unseeded South American team then jumped to a 3-0 lead and held serve to level at one set apiece. Nestor and Mirnyi clinched victory when Cabal double-faulted on match point.
"Today was a dog fight," Nestor said. "I thought those guys were playing tough. We were fortunate to win the first set."
Cabal was making his Grand Slam debut and became the first Colombian man to reach a major final. Schwank reached the Wimbledon and US Open semi- finals last year.
Cabal and Schawank had reached the final by beating top-seeded American twins Mike and Bob Bryan 7-6 (4), 6-3 .The Bryans were bidding for a second title at Roland Garros and an 11th Grand Slam overall, that would've equaled the Open era record set by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde
The Czech duo of Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova were victorious in the women's doubles final. Afterwards Hlavachov said she thought it was a joke when a friend gave her a shelf with the words "This is for Grand Slam trophies." written on it. But now she can furnish it with some silverware.
"I just put it under my bed, like what a silly joke," Hlavackova said about her friend's gift. "Now I actually have something to put on it!"
Hlavackova and Hradecka had never reached the quarter-finals at any Grand Slam tournament before and their seventh-seeded opponents, SaniaMirza of Indian and Elena Vesnina of Russia, were the favourites going into the final. However, the unseeded Czech team defeated them 6-4, 6-3 on Friday.
Mirza won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open in 2009 with Mahesh Bhupathi, while Vesnina reached the 2010 Wimbledon final with Vera Zvonareva and the 2009 French Open final with Victoria Azarenka.
"In the finals of a Grand Slam, it's not just about tennis," Mirza said, "it's also about your nerves."
The Czech team won five games in a row to lead 5-1 and took the first set when Vesnina sent a backhand return long. They broke for a 3-2 lead in the second set before they clinched the victory with a clinical forehand volley by Hradecka.
"They came out firing from the first point," Mirza said. "They also had no pressure. People expected that we're going to win because they were unseeded but they are very good."
The Czech pair won all their matches in straight sets and Hradecka was the only player in the final who did not drop serve. "Hradecka was really carrying the team together," Mirza said. "She was hitting winners from basically anywhere in the court."
Serena and Venus Williams were the champions last year but could not defend their title at Rolland Garros because they were sidelined by health issues.
However, Scott Lipsky of the United States and Casey Dellacqua of Australia won their first Grand slam title on Thursday when they beat defending champions Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 7-6 (6), 4-6, 10-7 in the mixed doubles final.
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