Miami: Leander Paes won the battle of former
partners when he and Czech Lukas Dlouhy handed a straight-set
defeat to Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi to lift their maiden
ATP doubles` title of the season at the Sony Ericsson Open
Third seeds Paes and Dlouhy defeated fourth seeds
Bhupathi, Paes` estranged partner, and Belarussian Mirnyi 6-2,
7-5 in the final of the event, which is an ATP World Tour
Masters 1000 tournament.
Paes and Dlouhy took an early 2-0 lead after winning
points at deuce in the first two games and never let their
opponents back into the first set.
The team also grabbed an early lead in the second set
only to give it back when broken for 3-3. But Paes and Dlouhy
broke back at 5-5 and then served out the match.
The winners of French Open and the US Open last year,
Paes and Dlouhy were beaten finalists in Brisbane and Dubai
earlier this season.
This was Paes` 43rd tour-level title while Dlouhy claimed
"What`s great actually about doing well this week is
there`s no pressure now for the rest of the clay court season.
We`ve got to a final in Brisbane and got to quarters at the
Aussie Open. Now there`s no pressure. Now we`re just playing
for cream on the top," Paes said.
Dlouhy credited Paes for lifting the team when the chips
"Playing with (Leander), it`s always great because he has
my back always. When I`m struggling with something, he`s
always with me on the same side and always tells me that
nothing happened. We make it like a team. So it always helps
you when you know that you are together, you are like
brothers. That`s the magic of the team, I think," he said.
Paes was runner-up at the Sony Ericsson Open in 2003 and