SONY ERICSSON OPEN 2012
Paes Captures 50th Doubles Title
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Seventh seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek rallied to defeat second-seeded Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 3-6, 6-1, 10-8 to win the Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday, their second team trophy of the season.
After dropping the first set, the Australian Open champions broke Mirnyi and Nestor twice in the second set to force a Match Tie-break. The Indian-Czech tandem trailed 1-4 before winning six straight points to surge ahead. Stepanek closed out the victory with an unreturnable volley to clinch the win in 82 minutes.
"We fought through it, and we got on top of them in the second set all the way," said Stepanek. "We [were] the more aggressive, and, I would say, creative team in the [Match] Tie-break, as well. That's why we won."
Paes collected his third straight crown at Crandon Park, having triumphed with Lukas Dlouhy in 2010 and Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011. The 38 year old also became the 24th player in ATP World Tour history to win 50 doubles titles.
"[It's] really, really special. 50 tournaments takes a little doing. 600 matches takes a little bit of doing," said Paes. "Having done a three peat here in Miami is awesome. Next year, I hope to start another one."
Mirnyi and Nestor finished runner-up for the second straight year, and were bidding to lift their third trophy in 2012, after successes in Brisbane (d. Melzer/Petzschner) and Memphis (d. Dodig/Melo).