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Cermak-Mertinak Take Step Closer To Finals Qualification

Cermak, Mertinak© Malaysian OpenFrantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak are hoping to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak were given a boost in their bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Sunday as they beat fellow contenders Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in the final of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010.

The winners received 250 ATP World Tour ranking points to add to their tally. They are currently 12th in the 2010 ATP Doubles Team Rankings, with the top eight teams at the end of the regular season to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Their Polish rivals, who sit one place higher in the year-to-date standings, earned 150 ranking points.

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“It’s an important title for us because we want to fight for a place [at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals]," said Mertinak. "We have to fight in the next few weeks and we will see how it goes." 

Second seeds Cermak and Mertinak squandered a chance to serve for the first set in the 10th game, but recovered well in the ensuing tie-break to take a one-set lead. Neither team was able to break serve in the second set and in the deciding tie-break, Cermak and Mertinak took command early and sealed victory in one hour and 51 minutes.

“I think we played very solid all the match," said Cermak. "We were a little bit lucky because if you win two tie-breaks you need to be lucky a little bit. We beat a few good teams [this week] so we’re feeling good now and we have a chance [to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals]."

The Czech-Slovakian duo won their sixth ATP World Tour doubles title together from 10 finals. It is their first title of the season, after runner-up efforts in Doha (l. to Garcia-Lopez-Montanes) and Umag (l. to Friedl-Polasek).  

Fyrstenberg and Matkowski were bidding to defend the Kuala Lumpur title they won last year with victory over Igor Kunitsyn and Jaroslav Levinsky. The Polish pairing were bidding to win their second title of the season, after lifting the trophy in Eastbourne (d. Fleming-Skupski).


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