BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2012
Mirnyi/Nestor Save 1 M.P. To Edge Lindstedt/Tecau In Group B Opener
by James Buddell|
Second seeds and defending champions Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor started their Group B campaign with a 4-6, 7-6(1), 12-10 victory over fourth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau on Monday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
“All credit to our opponents, they were playing great,” said Nestor. “They didn't give us many chances on their serve. We got a couple at the end of the second. But they were the better team for about a set and three quarters. We were just trying to hang on in the second. We did a good job of that. Then the match slowly started to shift. We created a few more opportunities. I thought they still played pretty well. We just raised our level.”
Lindstedt and Tecau, competing together at the season-ending championships for the second time, broke Mirnyi to 15 for a 5-4 lead and Tecau closed out to love to clinch the 32-minute opener. The Swedish-Romanian team lost just two of their 22 service points.
Nestor was forced to save one break point at 2-2 in the second set and Mirnyi battled back from 0/30 in the sixth game, but they absorbed the pressure to reach a tie-break. Mirnyi and Nestor found their serving rhythm to sweep through the tie-break before a tense Match tie-break.
Mirnyi and Nestor took a 4-0 lead, before being pinned back. Lindstedt and Tecau squandered one match point opportunity at 9-8, while Mirnyi and Nestor could not convert their first chance at 10-9. When Lindstedt netted a backhand return at 10-10, Mirnyi took control and hit a drop volley winner to complete an entertaining encounter over one hour and 37 minutes.
When asked about the atmosphere on court, Mirnyi said, “It's not often you're going to get this many thousands of people be quiet and know when to clap and what to say and when not to say. It's pretty amazing, it being so big, so crowded, but yet so quiet.”
Mirnyi and Nestor improved to a 42-16 match record on the season, which includes four titles in six finals. This year’s Roland Garros champions are now 6-1 lifetime against Lindstedt and Tecau, who are also playing their last tournament as a pair. Lindstedt and Tecau had hit 10 aces and won 73 of 142 total points, but dropped to 4-4 overall at the prestigious tournament.