Paes, Bhupathi claim Miami Masters, rise to No.1 spot

April 3rd, 2011 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Miami, April 3 (IANS) India’s Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi claimed their first Sony Ericsson Open title together and also rose to World No.1 ranking after rallying to defeat second seeds Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Canada’s Daniel Nestor 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-5.

The victory takes the Indians ahead of Americans Bob and Mike Bryan in the 2011 ATP Doubles Team Rankings and in the battle to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Bhupathi, however, chose not to be ecstatic about the new rankings.

“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.

It was Paes and Bhupathi’s second title together this year, following success at their home event in Chennai to start the season.

“The key (to winning) was just fighting as a team. We didn’t play our best match of the week. All four of us were tentative in the beginning,” Bhupathi said.

The third-seeded Indians served for the first set up 6-5, only to be get broken and even lose the tie-break. Some well-struck returns by the Belarusian-Canadian duo helped the No. 2 seeds win a tight first set.

“We had a chance to win that set but we did not take it and threw away the breaker pretty much,” Bhupathi said.

The Indians stepped up their game in the second set and a double fault by Nestor in the fourth game allowed them to nose ahead 3-1 and soon it was set all. They kept up the momentum in the tie-break to close the match.

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