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Bhupathi/Bopanna Capture First Title; Marrero/Verdasco Triumph In Acapulco

Doubles 2012

Bopanna, Bhupathi© Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi won their first title together.

Fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna captured their first ATP World Tour doubles title together on Saturday with victory in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final. The Indians overcame third-seeded Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-4, 3-6, 10-5 in 69 minutes.

Bhupathi and Bopanna joined forces full time at the beginning of the 2012 ATP World Tour season and came into Dubai having reached the semi-finals at the Aircel Chennai Open (l. to Erlich/Ram) and the Open 13 in Marseille (l. to Brown/Tsonga).

"It's my first ATP [World Tour] 500 title," said Bopanna. "This is great, and obviously it's great to play with Mahesh. All that 17 years of experience on court I think really helps in those close matches and these big moments. It's a good opportunity for me to play with him, alongside him. I couldn't have asked for anything better than winning this title."

The 37-year-old Bhupathi captured his 50th tour-level title, and his fourth at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament. The right-hander previously triumphed in 1998 (w/Paes), 2004 (w/Santoro) and 2008 (w/Knowles). The 31-year-old Bopanna clinched his sixth ATP World Tour doubles title. "It's amazing," said Bhupathi, reflecting on the strong crowd support he and Bopanna received. "It's even better than playing at home, because the stadium here is bigger than Chennai. For me, fortunately, it's my fifth final I think and it's always like this on Saturday. It's amazing, so many Indians." 

Competing in their 32nd tour-level final together, Fyrstenberg and Matkowski were chasing their first title since triumphing at the AEGON International in Eastbourne in June 2010. Last year they were runners-up at the US Open (l. to Melzer/Petzschner) and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (l. to Mirnyi/Nestor).

In Acapulco, Fernando Verdasco regrouped after losing the Abierto Mexicano Telcel singles final to win the doubles crown with David Marrero. The two captured their second straight title, defeating compatriots Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-3, 6-4. "The feeling after winning the doubles is much better now. So I'm glad I won one of the two finals," Verdasco told ATPWorldTour.com. "I think we had similar games because we were all Spanish. We're all baseline players. The match was close. The key was we just had a better day."

Marrero and Verdasco, coming off a triumph at the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires (d. Mertinak/Sa), converted four of their eight break opportunities to claim the title match in 81 minutes. "I am very happy. This is the fourth time I've played with Fernando. The first two times, I played really bad, and now I've started to play good," Marrero said. "Last week, we played well and won a tournament, and now we've done it this week as well. I have to say thank you to Fernando. He's a great player and a very good friend of mine. I hope Fernando would like to play continuously."

Granollers and Lopez were looking to win their first time title, and dropped to an 0-3 final record together with the loss. 

At the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, third seeds Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins defeated Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin 7-6(6), 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes to reach their first final of the season. The British tandem will look to win their second team title when they play Michal Mertinak and Andre Sa in Sunday’s final.

Mertinak and Sa advanced to their third successive title match, following their 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ivo Karlovic and Frank Moser. The Slovak-Brazilian duo finished runner-up at the Brasil Open 2012 in Sao Paulo (l. to Butorac/Soares) and Copa Claro in Buenos Aires (l. to Marrero/Verdasco).

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