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Stakhovsky-Youzhny Win Second Team Title; Romanians Triumph In Acapulco


Stakhovsky, Youzhny© Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsSergiy Stakhovsky and Mikhail Youzhny won their second ATP World Tour doubles title.

Sergiy Stakhovsky and Mikhail Youzhny returned to the ATP World Tour winners’ circle on Saturday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as they defeated Jeremy Chardy and Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-3, 10-3 in the final of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament.

The Ukrainian-Russian duo first joined forces at Roland Garros last year and clinched their first piece of silverware in just their second tournament together at Halle (d. Damm-Polasek) in June. However, since then they had failed to advance beyond the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event and opened 2011 with a 1-2 mark.

Chardy and Lopez, who had ousted the second and third seeds en route to the final, made the better start to the match, breaking serve in the first game as they clinched the opening set. Stakhovsky and Lopez hit back with a break of serve in the sixth game of the second set, though, and did not relinquish an early 4-0 lead in the deciding Match Tie-break as they claimed victory in 69 minutes.

"Actually I think we cannot say we played our best match," admitted Youzhny. "We started a little bit slowly with the first serve. That's why the first set was so slow. But afterwards we started to play better. Maybe we were a little bit lucky in the second set, but I think in the final tie-break we played really good and were much better focussed.”

The 25-year-old Stakhovsky captured his third ATP World Tour doubles title, having also triumphed at Moscow in 2008 with Potito Starace, while the 28-year-old Youzhny won his eighth title from 11 finals.

Frenchman Chardy and Spaniard Lopez were playing together for the first time this week. The 24-year-old Chardy dropped to a 1-3 career mark in ATP World Tour doubles finals, while Lopez, who was contesting his first doubles final since 2005 (Barcelona, w/Nadal), fell to a 1-4 record.

In Acapulco, the unseeded Romanian duo of Victor Hanescu and Horia Tecau defeated the No. 4 seeded tandem of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in the doubles final, denying the Brazlians their third title of the Golden Swing. In their first appearance of 2011 together, the Romanians saved the lone break point they faced in a 6-1, 6-3 victory in just 59 minutes.

"It's been a great week," said Hanescu. "We played really good tennis and I am very happy about this title. I didn't do that well in singles so it was important to win in doubles. Any title you win always means a lot. I have enjoyed playing with Horia and want to thank him for his support all week."

Hanescu improved to 2-2 in ATP World Tour doubles finals, capturing his first title in Kitzbuehel in 2008. Reigning Wimbledon finalist Tecau is 7-4 in finals and this is his third final with as many partners this year. He opened the season with a runner-up finish in Brisbane (w/Lindstedt) and won the title in Zagreb (w/Norman).

"This is the biggest title I won so far," said Tecau. "I am very happy and this means a lot. It's great to win here in Acapulco, especially as it was such an enjoyable week for us. It gives us a lot of confidence to win this title before facing Argentina in Davis Cup next week."

Melo and Soares had dropped only 12 games in three matches en route to their third final in the Latin American clay court circuit. They won titles in Santiago and Costa do Sauipe earlier this month.

In Delray Beach, Christopher Kas and Alexander Peya advanced to the final despite dropping serve twice and only breaking Brazilian opponents Franco Ferreiro and Andre Sa once in a 7-6(3), 3-6, 10-8 win. Teaming for just the second time this year, Kas and Peya will play Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram, who upset top seeds Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-8.

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