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Moodie-Norman Capture First Team Title

Top seeds Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman captured their first ATP World Tour doubles title together after edging past Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6(3), 6-7(8), 10-5 on Saturday in the final of the Ordina Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

South African Moodie and Norman of Belgium, currently No. 9 in the 2009 ATP Doubles Team Rankings, now add a further 250 ATP World Tour Ranking points to their total and receive €22,750 – while beaten finalists Brunstrom and Rojer earn 150 Ranking points and €11,450.

Moodie and Norman were playing just their fourth tour-level tournament together and have enjoyed huge success since first joining forces for a quarter-final exit at Marseille (l. to Clement-Llodra) in February. In their second outing they reached the semi-finals in Estoril before coming together again to reach their first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros – where they defeated top-ranked Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the semi-finals before succumbing to Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes in the championship match.

The towering duo (Moodie is 6’5’’ and Norman is 6’8’’) fired 14 aces and won 86 per cent of points on serve in its first grass-court final at the Ordina Open, but was unable to break serve from six opportunities in the one-hour and 44-minute match. Brunstrom and Rojer also failed to capitalise on three break point chances and were made to pay the price as Moodie and Norman clinched victory in the Match Tie-Break.

It is the second successive ATP World Tour title for the 30-year-old Moodie, who captured the Queen’s Club title (d. Melo-Sa) last week in a debut pairing with Russian Mikhail Youzhny. The Durban native has now won six career tour-level titles, highlighted by claiming his lone Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon (w/Huss) in 2005.

Norman, 38, also won his second title of the season after triumphing at Johannesburg with James Cerretani in February. The left-hander won his first ATP World Tour doubles title with Xavier Malisse in Chennai in 2007.

Sweden’s Brunstrom and Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles were coming off back-to-back Challenger wins together in Prostejov and Lugano and were looking to win their first title at ATP World Tour level after finishing runners-up in their first two finals together at 2008 Bastad (l. to Bjorkman-Soderling) and in May in Belgrade (l. to Kubot-Marach).

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© Hiroshi Sato

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