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Defending Champions Mirnyi/Nestor Qualify For Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

London, England

Mirnyi, Nestor© Getty ImagesMax Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in 2011.

Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor will return to The O2 in London this November to defend their Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title after becoming the first team to qualify for the prestigious season finale.

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The No. 1 duo secured their spot in the eight-team field by reaching the quarter-finals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini and Juan Monaco on Thursday.

“I’m happy to be going back,” said Nestor. “Obviously I have a good partner. I’ve always had good partners to help me qualify. I really like going there. It’s such an amazing event, so we feel fortunate to qualify. It’s an amazing event to be a part of. We really enjoy playing in London and the arena. It’s such a nice arena to play in, the atmosphere is great.”

Mirnyi, 35, will be making his ninth appearance at the season finale, while the 39-year-old Nestor will be making his 14th. In addition to their victory last year, Mirnyi won the title in 2006 with Jonas Bjorkman and was a finalist in 2009 (w/Ram) and ‘10 (w/Bhupathi). Nestor triumphed in 2007 with long-time partner Mark Knowles following their two runner-up finishes in 1998 and 2006, and also lifted the trophy with Nenad Zimonjic in 2008 and ’10.

Mirnyi and Nestor have won four titles from six finals this season, highlighted by their successful title defence at Roland Garros. In May, they moved into a tie with each other for the World No. 1 ATP Doubles Ranking, replacing Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who had shared the No. 1 individual spot for 90 consecutive weeks.

“This year Max and I are playing probably a little bit better than we were last year, so hopefully we can stay ahead of the Bryans, close to the Bryans, and then if it goes down to London, then it’ll be exciting to see who finishes No. 1,” said Nestor.

After playing two tournaments together in 2000, the Belarusian and Canadian launched their full-time partnership last year and won four titles.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will be held from 5-12 November. Three singles players - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - have already qualified for the world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament.

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