PARIS - The celebration, after Toronto's Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus defended their men's doubles title at the French Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S., was subdued.
Part of it is the personality of the champions; Nestor would no more leap into his partner's arms after a big victory than he would rip his shirt off, a la Novak Djokovic.
But the other part was the knowledge that their opponents, seeking a record-breaking 12th major title together, had not been at their best."You don't want to take your clothes off and start dancing around the court when you win," said Nestor, for whom it was a fourth French Open title, third in a row, second with Mirnyi. "They weren't their normal selves. We were a little bit fortunate for that. We have a lot of respect for them. I think if they're not 'the' best of all time, they're tied for the best of all time."The Bryans came out surprisingly flat, while Nestor and Mirnyi, who had only won two minor titles so far this season, seemed on a mission even if Nestor said he also hadn't played his best, and Mirnyi had carried them to victory.
"Today just wasn't our day," Bob Bryan said. "They came out aggressive and hit some good shots. It was a little bit cold and heavy at the beginning and maybe it caught us a little bit off guard."It's disappointing because we had been playing some really good ball. But they hit some great serves when they needed it," he added.Nestor and Mirnyi had lost to quality teams this season including the Bryans, the talented Polish pair of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski (twice), Australian Open champions Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek (twice), and the big-serving American duo of John Isner and Sam Querrey. Still, something had been missing."I think some of the losses we had in the clay season, we were in a position to win. We kind of got a little bit tight and hit safe in the big moments," Nestor said. "I think we made a commitment to really bear down in the big moments and play aggressive and, you know, stick to our game plan and really be mentally tough."From the beginning of (this) tournament, we had a tough first round, second round. We really went after these guys. You know, we didn't hold back. I think if we play like that, we're a tough team to beat."
This was also the fourth French Open title for Mirnyi, who defeated the Bryan brothers in 2005 and 2006 finals with former partner Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.Nestor now has eight majors, including the four at Roland Garros. It was the 78th overall title in his long career, which shows no signs of waning with his 40th birthday approaching in September.It won't last forever, even if Nestor said he still has a lot of reasons to keep playing."Moments like this. I love competing. I love playing in the big tournaments and challenging myself to play against the best," he said. "I really enjoy playing the Grand Slams especially, and trying to play my best in those tournaments and maybe make up for some things I didn't do as well when I was younger and playing the big moments as well."
Nestor will be in London this summer to compete in the Summer Olympics, partnered with young countryman Vasek Pospisil
World number two doubles pairing, Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, have cruised to their maiden Brisbane International doubles title with a polished 6-1 6-2 win over third-seeded combination Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner.
In a high-quality display, the reigning French Open champions raced through the first set on the back of some typically lightening reflexes at the net.
Losing the coin toss was probably the only thing the Belarussian–Canadian duo did wrong, as they broke their opponent’s serve twice in the first set to claim it 6-1 in 24 minutes.
The second followed much the same pattern, with the No.2 seeds Petzschner and Melzer again conceding two breaks.
Mirnyi then finished the match in style with a crushing cross-court volley.
It was the fifth title the pair has claimed together following a successful 2011, which saw them net the Barclays ATP World Tour Doubles Finals, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Roland Garros and Memphis trophies.
A pleased Nestor, who has an immense 75 career doubles titles to his name, said it “could be the best match we’ll play all year”.
“I hope we’re not peaking too early,” the 39-year old joked at the post-match ceremony.
Nestor had celebrated an achievement in the opening week of the season, eclipsing Todd Woodbridge’s record 782 match wins by reaching the Brisbane semi-finals with partner Max Mirnyi. Five months later, he became the first player to win 800 doubles matches with his opening round victory at Roland Garros. He and Mirnyi would go on to win the title at the clay-court Slam.
“It’s a great feeling. I’ve obviously had a lot of help over the years, playing with great partners, like Knowles, Zimonjic and Mirnyi now, and before that with Lareau, so I owe a lot to them,” said the 39-year-old Canadian, who won his first doubles match in 1993. “When you play a long time and you’ve been successful in your sport, it’s a great feeling, because you put in hard work and it pays off.”
Nestor attained another milestone to conclude the season, playing in a record 1148th doubles match and winning his fourth Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title in five years.
Federer, meanwhile, became the seventh player in the Open Era to record 800 singles match wins en route to his 18th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Masters, the final tournament of the regular season.
“It’s nice. It’s a lot of matches, a lot of tennis [that] I’ve played - I know that. But I know there are many other players that have played more tennis than I have,” he said. “It's just another win, but it's a special one nevertheless, because 800 is definitely a big number.”
LONDON -- Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada won the doubles title at the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday, beating Polish duo Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 7-5, 6-3 in the final.
Mirnyi and Nestor rallied from a break down to win the first set and earned the only break of the second. Nestor served out the match at love, with Mirnyi sealing the victory with a forehand smash at the net.
Mirnyi and Nestor played together for the first time in the season-ending tournament, although both had won it previously with other partners. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski reached the final of the event for the first time.
"Six weeks ago if you would have asked me if we would have won this, I would have been surprised," said Nestor, who is from Toronto. "But the way we've been playing in the fall, I wouldn't say surprised."
Nestor has won the ATP World Tour doubles title four times. He claimed the season-ending trophy with Mark Knowles in 2007 and Nenad Zimonjic in 2008 and 2010.
It is Nestor's 75th doubles title.
The title was the second for Mirnyi, who won the ATP World Tour Finals in 2006 with Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman.
Known for his deft touch, expert volleying and split-second improvisational skills leading to jaw-dropping shots, Daniel Nestor has won multiple titles over the span of his epic career, including 73 ATP Tour doubles titles, of which seven were Grand Slam events, two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and three Tennis Masters Cup doubles titles.
Nestor also represented Canada at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, bringing home gold at the Sydney Olympic Games. His ongoing athletic success has made him the only player in tennis history to win all four Grand Slams, all of the Masters Series events, the year-end Masters Cup and an Olympic gold medal in doubles. He beat no less than five former #1 players in singles. He has been a member of the Canadian Davis Cup team since 1992 and won his first doubles title way back in 1994.� He was ranked #1 in the world in 2002, 2004 and 2008. And at 39,
Nestor doesn’t appear to be slowing down, recently recording his 800th career victory at the 2011 French Open, taking home the doubles title for the second consecutive year. Whew!
“Canada has so much to offer in all walks of life and sport is no exception,” says Nestor about his adopted homeland. His family immigrated to Toronto when he was a child, and he attended Earl Haig Secondary School in a special sports program known as the Academic Program for Gifted Athletes. “Having worldclass facilities and coaching was integral in my progression to the professional ranks.” Nestor now lives in the Bahamas with his wife and daughter, but is still a proud Canadian. He was appointed to the Order of Canada last December. Since 2003 the Daniel Nestor
Celebrity Charity Event has raised more than $700,000 for North York General Hospital in Toronto and Tennis Canada Go for Gold Fund charities.
What’s the best thing about being on Canada’s Walk of Fame for him? “Having a mark on the city that I grew up in and offered me so much, and being able to share the honour with my family and friends.” What’s the worst? “Knowing 99 per cent of the people who notice my star will say, ‘Who the #@! is Daniel Nestor?!’” he jokes, adding that being Canadian has taught him, above all, to stay level-headed and humble along the way
Doubles star Daniel Nestor has been appointed a Member to the Order of Canada in recognition of his achievements in the sport and charitable contributions.
The 38-year-old Nestor, a former ATP World Tour Doubles No. 1, was among 54 honourees named last week along with former NHL player Trevor Linden and celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy.
"[I'm] definitely a little bit surprised," said Nestor, who was born in Belgrade and emigrated to Canada at age four. "It’s one of the greatest honours you can achieve as a Canadian. For me, I’m very proud. I wasn’t born in Canada but something I’ve realised playing the tour and travelling so much is how appreciative I am to be Canadian and the great opportunity the country has given me. It’s a great honour for me."
Since turning pro in 1991, Nestor has won 71 doubles titles – tops among active players – including all the major titles: the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the four Grand Slams, all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, and the Olympic gold medal.
Off the court, he has raised more than $700,000 through his annual charity event, with proceeds from his 2010 benefit going towards Tennis Canada’s Go For Gold Program and the North York General Hospital.
"Daniel has been a model athlete and spokesperson for the sport of tennis, winning nearly every trophy attainable while continuing to lead by example in his charitable endeavours," Michael S. Downey, Tennis Canada’s president and CEO, told Oye Times. "To be appointed to the Order of Canada is an extraordinary honour and fitting for Daniel, our greatest tennis talent and a very proud Canadian. I join the more five million tennis players in our country in applauding Daniel for this well-deserved recognition."
Nestor finished the 2010 season on a high note, winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with Nenad Zimonjic, and will open his 2011 season playing alongside Max Mirnyi at the Brisbane International. The Belarusian said of his new teammate's appointment to the Order of Canada, "It’s a great honour to achieve and I’m happy to be partnered next to the honourary man."