Inglot/Kontinen Save Match Point To Take St. Petersburg Title
Newly-formed team remains unbeaten
Dominic Inglot and Henri Kontinen saved a match point and captured their first ATP World Tour title together on Sunday at the St. Petersburg Open. The Brit and Fin improved to a perfect 4-0 together by prevailing against German Andre Begemann and Indian Leander Paes 4-6, 6-3, 12-10 to win the ATP World Tour 250 doubles crown.
The comeback in the final marked the third match of the tournament in which Inglot/Kontinen fought back from a set down. They cut their margins especially close against Begemann/Paes, who had not dropped a set before Sunday and were playing in their second ATP World Tour final of the season after falling at the Winston-Salem Open in August to Kontinen and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Begemann/Paes held a match point at 9-8 in the match tie-break and appeared to have won the final before Inglot/Kontinen challenged an out call. The call was overturned and the point was replayed. Defending a match point for a second time, Inglot/Kontinen took no chances as Kontinen smashed a forehand overhead that landed well inside the lines. A few minutes later, he delivered a service winner to give them their first team title.
“We have had a couple of close matches and that helped us today when we found ourselves in very close situations. That gave us some confidence,” Inglot said. “Also, we're having lots of fun on court. I think we felt really relaxed and never felt too much pressure.”
Kontinen, who won the St. Petersburg Open title last season with Treat Huey, becomes the first player to win back-to-back doubles titles in St. Petersburg since Andrei Olhovskiy, who won titles in 1996 with Yevgeny Kafelnikov and in 1997 with Brett Steven. The 26-year-old Kontinen has now won five ATP World Tour doubles titles this season and 11 for his career.
“It's a great tournament and very close to Finland. It's easy to get here. Obviously I'm pretty sure it'll be in my calendar next year as well. I enjoyed playing there. The city is very beautiful,” Kontinen said.
Inglot claims his second ATP World Tour title of the season after winning in Nottingham with Canadian Daniel Nestor. The 30-year-old Brit now has six for his career. He and Kontinen will receive 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $49,660.
Begemann/Paes were going for their first ATP World Tour title together. Begemann falls to 4-5 in ATP World Tour doubles finals. Paes was trying to win an ATP World Tour doubles title for the 20th consecutive year. The 43 year old, who is now 55-41 in doubles finals, has won at least one ATP World Tour doubles title since 1997. He and Begemann will receive 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $26,110.