Aspelin-Hanley Capture Dubai Title; Bryans Clinch 600th
ATP World Tour 2010 - Week Eight
by James Buddell|
Aspelin and Hanley defeated second seeds Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Indian Leander Paes 6-2, 6-3 in just 57 minutes, much to the disappointment of Dubai’s large Indian population. It was Hanley’s second Dubai title, following his 2006 triumph with Kevin Ullyett.
"I'm extremely happy," said Aspelin. "I think Paul and I have started the year good. We've been playing well, and playing with a lot of confidence right now. And in a big tournament like this here in Dubai, it's great to win."
Aspelin and Hanley share $113,450 in prize money and earn 500 ATP World Tour Doubles Rankings points. Dlouhy and Paes split $53,320 and 300 rankings points.
A net-rushing Paes was jammed up by a terrific forehand return from Aspelin at 30/40 in the third game and Aspelin-Hanley won four of the next five games, dropping just three points on serve, to clinch the first set in 26 minutes.
Dlouhy led 40/15 in the fifth game of the 31-minute second set, but he hit three successive double faults. Hanley confirmed the service break with a hold to 15 for a 4-2 lead. Two games later, Dlouhy handed victory to Aspelin and Hanley with his eighth double fault of the match.
“It's always disappointing, because if you are in the final you want to win the title,” said Dlouhy. “But today it was a very bad match from our side. We are happy to be in the final, and hopefully next time we can do better.”
Aspelin and Hanley, who first teamed up in May 2009 at the Grand Prix Hassan II, improved to a 33-20 record overall and to a 2-3 mark in ATP World Tour finals. They lifted their first trophy at the International German Open in Hamburg in July last year.
"I'm really happy with the start we've had for the year," said Hanley. Our goal last year [was to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals], and unfortunately that didn't happen. So Simon and I said let's play again this year, and that was our number one goal. We're doing the right things and hiring the right people, and trying to get help."
Aspelin is now 12-20 record in finals, while Hanley improved to 23-20 overall in title matches.
Dlouhy and Paes, finalists at the Brisbane International in January, dropped to 3-5 in team finals. It was Paes’ fourth final appearance at The Aviation Club, highlighted by title successes in 1998 (w/Bhupathi) and 2003 (w/Rikl).
“[We] didn't play our best tennis today,” admitted Paes. “I felt that we got off to a bad start again. The last three days I've started off really poor. I lost my first service game today, yesterday and the previous day.
“Today, [we] just lost to a better team. They played solid. They're good doubles players, so they read the game of doubles well. They cover the spots well. Today we didn't get enough balls on court. We didn't get enough returns in court [and] didn't get enough volleys on court.”
In Acapulco, top seeds Lukas Kubot and Oliver Marach blitzed Italians Fabio Fognini and Potito Starace 6-0, 6-0 to claim their fifth ATP World Tour doubles title as a team. Marach, of Austria, took his seventh career doubles title and Poland's Kubot won his fifth. The duo, who last year qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, did not drop a set all week.
Kubot said: “We are very happy to win the Acapulco title. We played very well during the whole week and especially in today’s final." Marach added: “We played an amazing match today; almost didn’t make any mistakes. I really like to play in Acapulco. It is such a good event, the people are very friendly and the place is amazing. We hope to come here many more years.”
“Today they were just too good for us,” Fognini conceded. “They played a perfect match and didn’t give us any chances. I feel bad for the crowd that came to watch but we did what we could. They were just that much better.”