Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes have done it again.
The Indian Express triumphed at the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open, subduing the Dutch-American pair of Robin Hasse and David Martin 6-2, 6-7 (3), 10-7.
The Chennai tourney has Indian champions once more. This is the first time since 2002 that an Indian pair has inscribed their names on the trophy; it was the duo of Bhupathi and Paes who claimed it then as well.
Somdev Devvarman came close in 2009, losing to Marin Cilic in the final.
It was fitting that the duo came together in the sweltering environs of the South Indian city that boasts the best-known tennis families in India—the Krishnans and the Amritrajs—to clinch their first title this year.
Sceptics felt that the two would find it difficult to reprise their form of the late 90s and early 00s, given their aging bodies and slower reflexes.
In the men’s singles, Stanislas Wawrinka clinched his first title of the year—his first ever Chennai Open. He was runner-up last year and almost did not play this year.
He was awarded a wild card and maximized his returns, carving his way through the field.
He defeated Xavier Malisse, the Belgian making a comeback, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. The X-Man is ranked 60 in the world, after languishing outside the top 100 for over two years.
The surprise of the tournament was Kei Nishikori who knocked out defending champion Marin Cilic en route to the quarter-finals. Janko Tipsarevic was too strong for the Japanese youngster—but just.
A resurgent Federer checked his progress 6-3, 6-4. Federer did not drop a set throughout the tourney.
Nadal could not be kept off the podium, though. He and his partner Marc Lopez beat Daniele Bracciali and Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6(4) in the final of the men’s doubles.
An ailing Nadal was not at his best through the tournament.
In Brisbane, Robin Soderling announced that he continues to threaten to annex his first ever Grand Slam this year. The Swede denied Andy Roddick in the Brisbane International final emerging triumphant 6-3, 7-5. The Swede will roll on to Melbourne on a high.
In an exhibition tourney in Hong Kong, Vera Zvonareva proved that her victory over Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open was no facile conquest. She dominated the No. 1 seed winning 6-1, 6-0. Wozniacki leads their head-to-head meetings 4-3.
Petra Kvitova is challenging for the Australian Open and doesn’t she know it. She overpowered Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-1 to claim the Brisbane International title.
The 30-somethings continue their charge this year. This time, it was Greta Arn at the Auckland Open making the main draw following a few late withdrawals.
Quote of the day:
"You talk to God, you’re religious. God talks to you, you’re psychotic." Doris Egan