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Knowle-Melzer Clinch Second Title Of 2009

Julian Knowle, Jurgen Melzer© Getty ImagesJulian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer won their fourth career ATP World Tour title together.

Austrians Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer combined to win their second ATP World Tour title of the season after edging Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr 6-2, 5-7, 10-8 Sunday in the final of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament in Tokyo.

As champions, Knowle and Melzer received 500 ATP World Tour Ranking points and $63,600, while Hutchins and Kerr earned 300 Ranking points and $32,700 in prize money.

In a match featuring five breaks of serve, Knowle and Melzer capitalised on three of the eight break chances they created and struck eight aces to seal victory after one hour and 36 minutes. They won all four of their matches this week in a Match Tie-break, including upsetting third seeds Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley in the first round.

Knowle and Melzer improved to a 24-18 match record on the season, having also captured the Pilot Pen Tennis trophy (d. Soares-Ullyett) in New Haven in August. It is their fourth title together overall, with previous victories coming at the 2005 St. Petersburg Open and the 2006 Grand Prix Hassan II.

“It's always great to play and win with Julian as we are such great friends,” said Melzer. “It is so much fun to play in Tokyo with so many people coming to watch.”

The 28-year-old Melzer improved to a 6-11 mark in ATP World Tour finals, while Knowle, 35, won his 13th tour-level title in his 26th final.

World No. 45 Hutchins and No. 35-ranked Kerr were playing together for the third time and were contesting their first final as a team. Hutchins dropped to a 1-4 mark in ATP World Tour finals, while Kerr slipped to a 9-4 record.

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