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French Duo Devilder-Mathieu Outlast Top Seeds For Title

Bucharest, Romania

French duo Nicolas Devilder and Paul-Henri Mathieu won an epic battle against top seeded Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 7-6(4), 6-7(9) 22-20 in the final of the BCR Open Romania in Bucharest on Saturday to clinch their first team title.

Devilder and Mathieu won three points less than their opponents and saved six match points before prevailing on their 10th opportunity after 1 hr., 58 min. They upset No. 3 seeds Michael Mertinak, who was the defending champion (w/Marach), and partner Filip Polasek in the first round and knocked out 2005 champions Jose Acasuso and Sebastien Prieto in the semifinals.

“This is kind of a surprise for us,” confessed Devilder. “We came here focusing on our singles matches and end up winning the doubles. It feels great to win the title here."

Mathieu added: “It was very cold during the match and the conditions were a bit crazy. I don't even know how many match points we had. The match was very close at end and I'm happy we made it."

Ranked No. 466 and No. 140 respectively, Devilder and Mathieu had not won a match in their two previous tournaments together and both have now collected their first ATP doubles titles after contesting just their first finals.

Fyrstenberg and Matkowski won the Bucharest title in 2006 (d. Garcia-Horna) and were looking for their eighth ATP title from their 18th final. This season they finished runners-up at Barcelona (l. to Bryan-Bryan) before clinching their home country title in June at Warsaw (d. Davudenko-Schukin).

The Poles are closing in on a spot at the season ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, having entered the week at No. 9 in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race, 41 points back of South Africans Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie in the seventh spot.

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©Arnaud Briand

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