Bhupathi-Mirnyi to clash with Nestor-Zimonjic in World Tour Finals
London: India`s Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi of Belarus cruised past Polish duo Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the year-end doubles title clash in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Third seeds Bhupathi and Mirnyi will face second seeds Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia, the 2008 winners, who saved a match point to beat three-time former champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 in 71 minutes Saturday.
Bhupathi and Mirnyi are chasing their second title of the season, having triumphed two weeks ago at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris-Bercy.
They are through to the championship match at the season finale for the first time after failing to advance past the group stages on their previous two appearances in 2003 and 2004.
The third seeds started brightly and broke through in the seventh game courtesy a forehand volley error by Fyrstenberg, before Mirnyi went on to seal the set with a service hold in the 10th game.
The Poles were under pressure right from the start of the second set, with Matkowski forced to save three break points in the first game. Their resistance crumbled in the third game, though, as Fyrstenberg`s serve was broken and Bhupathi and Mirnyi established a 3-1 lead.
The Polish duo saved two match points on Matkowski`s serve in the ninth game before saving a further two match points in the following game. Mirnyi was strong on the duo`s fifth match point chance, though, punching a backhand volley down the middle forcing an error from Fyrstenberg after 82 minutes of play.
It is the fourth win in four meetings this season for Bhupathi and Mirnyi over their Polish opponents.
In contrast, Nestor and Zimonjic had to battle past the formidable Bryans.
In a tense match tie-break, Zimonjic played a fine backhand half-volley down the line at 7-8 that settled his nerves.
an ace. Nestor saved one match point with an unreturned serve at 9-10, before Zimonjic hit a mid-court backhand winner at 11-10 for a place in the final.
`We`ve had a lot of great battles over the years,` said Nestor. `Today was a typical match between the two teams where it`s very evenly matched. We were fortunate to win in the end.`
`We did a lot of good things. But basically we`re playing with good energy. We`re serving well. I served well when I had to. I wasn`t necessarily serving well the whole time. Nenad has been serving well the whole week.`
It was Nestor and Zimonjic`s first win over the Bryans since October 2009 at the Swiss Indoors Basel final