Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic won their second Madrid Masters doubles title, beating Americans Bob and Mike Bryan 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday.
The 58-minute victory ended the Americans’ win streak at 24 matches with titles at their last five events.
“Today we played amazing, that was the most important thing,” said Nestor. “We played well on a big occasion when it really mattered.”
Nestor, 41, from Toronto, claimed his fifth trophy in the Spanish capital after capturing it three times with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas (2002, 2004, 2009). He has won the last two (‘09, ‘14) with Zimonjic.
Nestor and his Serbian partner have won 26 titles together, including two this year. They won in Sydney in January and have lost in the final in Dubai and Barcelona on clay.
Nestor also won the Brisbane title alongside Mariusz Fyrstenberg in the opening week of the season.
Nestor moved into third in all-time titles with 84, trailing Mike Bryan (100) and Bob Bryan (98). Nestor appeared in his 139th doubles final.
The victory was redemption for Nestor and Zimonjic after losing to the Bryans in a Monte Carlo semifinal, their only other previous meeting this year with the top-ranked Americans.
“I can’t complain about a fifth trophy here,” said Nestor, “We’ve had a couple of chances to win titles this year but we didn’t play well on those opportunities.
“We got ahead early against them today, that is the key, They are such great front-runners. It’s important to lead or at least stay close. We had some tough situations but we fought through them. We’ve been resilient all year. It’s nice to play our best match in the final.”
Nestor said the 800-metre Madrid altitude has always been good for him. Up next for Nestor and his partner will be an event in Rome, the last major tuneup prior to the French Open, which begins May 25.
“I have a lot of experience at altitude form South American Davis Cup matches,” said Nestor. “It will be an adjustment next week to get back to sea level but there is nothing better than playing matches and winning them.
“This is the best situation possible going into a grand slam. We have huge confidence, we really put it together this week with four really good matches. It’s a good sign going forward.”
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ATP World Tour Uncovered profiles the reunited duo of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, who are looking to rekindle previous successes in 2014.
Canadian Daniel Nestor and longtime partner Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia are relying on their veteran savvy at the French Open.
Nestor and Zimonjic reached the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam tournament on Saturday with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over 13th seeds Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Romania's Horia Tecau.
"The best thing we're doing is playing very consistent," said Nestor. "When we are down or in tough situations, we don't get emotional, this is our strength right now.
The victory in just under 90 minutes puts the third seeds up against the winner from Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Spain's Feliciano Lopez versus Croatia's Marin Draganja and Florin Mergea of Romania. That match is scheduled for Sunday.
"It still one match at a time," said Nestor. "If we play the way we have, we have as good a chance as anyone to win the tournament."
Tecau proved to be the weak link on Saturday, with the Romanian losing serve once per set as Nestor and Zimonjic won their 11th consecutive match on clay.
The pair came to Paris with trophies in Madrid and Rome; Nestor has won the French doubles title four times since 2007.
Tecau was broken in the ninth game of the first set and in the penultimate game of the second, with the 41-year-old Nestor from Toronto serving out the win and Zimonjic clinching victory with a poached cross-court winner.
"We're playing well for sure, but there's been a lot of luck involved," said Nestor. "We've won a lot of close matches and hit some lucky shots. But we're on a roll and that's what happens sometimes."
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Daniel Nestor joins Caroline Cameron to discuss the upcoming French Open and whether Milos Raonic or Eugenie Bouchard will be the first to win a Grand Slam.
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Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic claimed a second consecutive clay-court title Sunday as they won the Italian Open 6-4, 7-6 (2) over Dutchman Robin Haase and Spain's Feliciano Lopez.
The victorious sixth seeds backed up their Madrid trophy of last weekend with Masters 1000 success at the Foro Italico, claiming the title in 84 minutes with eight aces and three breaks of serve.
The pair have now won 27 trophies as a team. They lifted their first of 2014 in January in Sydney and added Madrid and Rome to head into the French Open starting next weekend as favourites.
"We're playing mentally tough right now," said Nestor. "We've faced a lot of good opponents but we've found a way to win with all the ups and downs.
"On clay there are a lot of momentum chances. We've been doing a good job of playing relaxed on clay, a lot of momentum chances, doing a good job of playing relaxed and staying with our game plan. We'v been playing well these last few weeks and we are confident going to Paris."
Toronto's Nestor has won four Roland Garros titles since 2007, the last one two years ago with former partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus.
"It's always nice to go back to back, especially the way we've been winning." said Nestor. "We've shown a lot of resilience. We are dealing well with any situation on court, that's a feeling going into a grand slam. We hope to keep this up in Paris, but nothing is easy. If we stay mentally strong, we give ourselves a chance to win (in Paris).
"We'll continue training, we have to adjust to longer matches. We'll keep building and try to be as ready as possible for Roland Garros."
Nestor, 41, now owns 85 doubles titles from 140 finals and remains in third place in the post-1968 Open era doubles title leaderboard behind Mike Bryan (100) and Bob Bryan (98).
Nestor and Zimonjic came back quickly after Nestor was broken in the third game of the match, recovering the break for 3-3. They earned the set after 36 minutes with a concluding break.
Zimonjic lost serve early in the second set but two double-faults from Lopez set up break-back points, which were converted for 2-2.
Nestor's team hung onto their clay momentum as the set moved into a tiebreaker. They earned the victory on the first of four match points.
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Daniel Nestor (Toronto) and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic are through to the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands following an opening 6-4, 3-6, 10-5 victory over Canadian-American pair Adil Shamasdin (Toronto) and James Cerretani.
Shamasdin and Cerretani were lucky losers, earning their spot in the doubles main draw thanks to the withdrawal of Brit Jonathan Marray and Russian Dmitry Tursunov. It was a close match between the two pairs, with Shamasdin and Cerretani actually earning more service break opportunities than their higher-ranked opponents. But Nestor ultimately came out on top over his fellow Canadian and Davis Cup hitting partner, as he and Zimonjic won the important points and took the match tiebreaker for the triumph.
The No. 3-seeded duo of Nestor and Zimonjic will next face Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut.
Toronto's Daniel Nestor and French partner Kristina Mladenovic won the Australian Open mixed doubles title Sunday over India's Sania Mirza and Romanian Horia Tecau 6-3, 6-2.
The 58-minute victory marks the fourth mixed title for the 41-year-old Nestor and second for his team in the last three grand slams.
He and Mladenovic won the Wimbledon title last summer after finishing runner-up at the French Open eight months ago.
"We've been playing our best tennis here," said Nestor. "It's great to win this title.
"I have what I believe is the best partner in mixed. Kristina helps me out and I have to cover less of the court — that's good at my age."
Nestor now owns three Melbourne mixed titles, winning with Elena Likhovtseva in 2007 and repeating three years ago with Slovenian Katerina Srebotnik. Nestor and Mladenovic beat Mirza and Tecau at Wimbledon last summer on the way to their title together.
Nestor's team beat the sixth seeds with five aces 14 winners, 24 unforced errors and four breaks of serve.
Mladenovic converted on a third match point as she sent a passing shot past Tecau to take the victory.
"Australia's a great place to be at this time of year," Nestor said of a match played in 26 Celsius summer conditions, "It's certainly a bit colder in Canada.
"Leaving home at around Christmas time is always a blessing."
Nestor was accompanied on his trip by his family, which had to return home this week for school.
The Canadian will travel to Tokyo for next week's Davis Cup tie with Japan.
The unseeded pairing of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic have been crowned the men’s doubles champions at Apia International Sydney.
The Canadian-Serbian duo, who have combined for three Grand Slam doubles titles and both previously been ranked No.1 in the tandem game, defeated third seeds Rohan Bopanna of India and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in a pair of tiebreaks, 7-6(3) 7-6(3).
The win is Zimonjic’s 50th doubles title, and an incredible 83rd for Nestor, who also won in Brisbane last week with Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg.
“(Feeling) pretty good. We accomplished our goal playing a few matches, which is important. You know, we picked up kind of where we left off playing good. You know, it’s competitive as ever, doubles, and anything can happen obviously. We’re happy about our start (to the season),” Nestor said.
The experienced duo of Nestor and Zimonjic, with the combined age of 78, threatened to take the decisive break in the ninth game when Bopanna pushed a forehand volley well wide of the alley.
But when faced with the sudden-death deuce point, the “Indo-Pak Express” survived, holding serve for 5-4.
The set progressed to a tiebreak, and Nestor and Zimonjic immediately wrested control, scoring a mini-break for 3-1 when Bopanna double faulted and coming out on top of a volley exchange to put the set almost beyond doubt at 4-1.
They made sure of it, wrapping up the opening set in 46 minutes.
The match continued before a large, atmospheric crowd on Ken Rosewall Arena, which relished the competitive nature of the points and the fact that the two teams could not be separated.
Games went on serve throughout the set, and the 12th game appeared to be going the same way when Bopanna and Qureshi moved ahead 40-15. But two points later, when Nestor played a delightfully-disguised lob for a winner, the Canadian-Serbian pair had brought up a championship point at deuce.
Bopanna saved it with a sharp-angled volley, and to another tiebreak the finalists headed.
Once there, it was Nestor and Zimonjic again benefitting from poor serving from the third seeds.
They snatched the mini-break for a 4-2 lead after a Qureshi double-fault, and after two powerful first serves from Zimonjic brought up three match points, they clinched the title on their first after a Bopanna double fault.
“It’s nice to start (the season) with a title. We didn’t need much of playing together that we get to know each other because we play three-and-a-half years together,” Zimonjic said.
“It’s nice that we continued. Last two tournaments that we played we won; this is the third tournament. It’s a great thing that we managed this.”