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Knowles-Malisse Prevail In Los Angeles Final

ATP World Tour 2011 Season: Week 30

Xavier Malisse and Mark Knowles© Getty ImagesXavier Malisse and Mark Knowles celebrate a winning partnership debut.

The first-time pairing of Mark Knowles and Xavier Malisse claimed the doubles title Sunday at the Farmers Classic, prevailing against Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey 7-6(3), 7-6(10) in one hour and 56 minutes. "It was a tough match. They started off really well but we hung in there and played some good points," Malisse told

Devvarman and Huey, teammates at the University of Virginia, got off to a strong start in their first appearance in an ATP World Tour doubles final, going up a double break 3-0. They were unable to hold onto the lead, however, as Knowles and Malisse won the next five games.

The Bahamian-Belgian duo were unable to capitalise on two set points on Malisse’s serve at 5-3, but secured the opening set in the tie-break after 54 minutes. The two teams traded breaks of serve to send the second set to another tie-break, and Knowles and Malisse once again edged Devvarman and Huey. " It was nice to serve out the match. I had little flashbacks right before match point," said Knowles. "I served out a lot of matches on the court before while playing for UCLA. They probably weren’t as meaningful as today’s but it was just exciting to be back here on my former campus."

The 39-year-old Knowles captured his 54th tour-level doubles title in his 98th final, and his first on his college campus of UCLA, where he played tennis from 1990-92. (Watch: Knowles Goes Back To School)

"It’s a tournament I hadn’t won before, so it’s always great to win an event for the first time. It's hard to win tournaments, so it’s really special to win at UCLA and I’m completely elated, and hope to win a couple more."

Malisse, 31, improved to a 6-2 mark in doubles finals as he collected his second doubles crown of the season; he and Alexandr Dolgopolov won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells this past March. "I’m really happy as it feels good to win another tournament," Malisse said. "It’s also a good confidence boost, having played with Mark for the first time and winning the title." 

Prior to this week, Devvarman and Huey had compiled a 1-3 record together in tour-level action.

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