BNP PARIBAS MASTERS 2011
Bopanna-Qureshi Capture First ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title
by ATP Staff|
A week before making their debut appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi captured their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. ‘The Indo-Pak Express’ were too strong for Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut in the BNP Paribas Masters final, defeating the French wild cards 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday in Paris.
"This win gives us a lot of confidence, it is our biggest title by far," said Bopanna. "All the hard work over the years has paid off."
Bopanna and Qureshi had taken out No. 2 seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic and No. 3 seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor to reach their first Masters 1000 final together. As champions, they earned 1000 ATP Doubles Team Ranking points, taking them to fifth in the year-to-date standings.
The seventh seeds made a strong start to Sunday’s final at the Palais Omnisports, racing to a 5-2 double break advantage before closing out the first set in 29 minutes. In a closer second set, they broke down their French opponents in the ninth game before serving out victory in 64 minutes. They won 92 per cent of points behind their first serve and did not face a single break point.
The 2010 US Open runners-up were contesting their 11th tour-level final together and improved to a 4-7 mark. It was their third trophy of the season, following victories in June at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (d. Haase-Raonic) and at last month’s If Stockholm Open (d. Melo-Soares).
"We are ecstatic to win our first Masters 1000 title," said Qureshi. "Last year we didn't play well in finals and this year we have won three out of three."
Unseeded French pairing Benneteau and Mahut had put together an equally impressive run to reach the final, upsetting top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the second round before ousting sixth seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in the quarter-finals.
They were playing in their fourth ATP World Tour doubles final together and dropped to a 2-2 record. Their last title came at 2009 Lyon (d. Clement-Grosjean).
"They were stronger than us today and I wish them good luck in London next week," said Benneteau. "We got a wild card and had a great run, we enjoyed playing in front of a big crowd and having their support."