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Paes-Tipsarevic win Chennai Open doubles crown

January 09, 2012 00:42 IST

The third seed Indo-Serbian pair of Leander Paes and Janko Tipsarevic won the doubles crown at the Aircel Chennai Open 2012, on Sunday, defeating the fourth seed Israeli duo of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich 6-4, 6-4 in the final, which lasted 73 minutes.

It was Paes's sixth doubles title at theĀ Open.

Tipsarevic played the match immediately after losing the singles final. Asked how he managed such a physically difficult task, heĀ replied, "I had a very hard pre-season. I have that every year, fitness in general is one of my strengths."

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About Paes, he said, "I love playing with someone who loves to ask me something, but also to give something."

Paes and Tipsarevic wrapped up the title in game 10 of the second set on Paes's serve, right after they had broken Erlich in the previous game.

Serving for the set, Paes and Tipsarevic were aided in their cause after Erlich hit two consecutive service returns long from the baseline.

At 40-0 up and three match-points at their disposal, Ram and Erlich left a Paes volley sail unharmed between them, gifting the first doubles title to the Indo-Serbian pair.

Erlich and Ram were runners-up once at the Chennai Open, losing in the 2004 doubles final to the Spanish pair of Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo.

Paes said, "I know how difficult it is mentally to play two finals on the same day. The way he (Tipsarevic) prepared for both the finals, it was impeccable. He epitomises what an athlete should be."

Following their semi-final victory over Rajeev Ram and Scott Lipsky on Saturday, Paes had attributed the success of his partnership with Serbian Janko Tipsarevic to their "work ethic".

The Indo-Serbian pair showed much of it, with Tipsarevic, who had just lost the singles final, which lasted more than three hours, to Milos Raonic, taking the field after a short break.

The 38-year-old Paes summoned his vast reserves of experience in the light of Tipsarevic's exertions, regularly running up to his teammate and offering words of encouragement and shouting "Out!" from a forward position even as a return sailed over his head.

Despite Paes's efforts, however, Tipsarevic looked tired after his epic final loss to Raonic, and gifted many a point to the opposition with his wayward service returns and backhand volleys which found only the net.

The first set started in an auspicious manner for the Indo-Serbian duo, with the local favourites notching a 3-0 lead, including breaking their opponents twice.

After breaking Andy Ram in the first game, Paes and Tipsarevic held serve in the next, before breaking in the third. The Israeli pair

immediately broke back, when Tipsarevic sealed the breakpoint for the opposition by sending a backhand return long.

The second set saw Paes and Tipsarevic break twice, in games one and nine, while the opposition could break them only once, in game two on Paes's serve.

Though their only break in the set was an immediate one back to level things after Paes and Tipsarevic had broken Erlich to 1-0 up, the Israeli pair could not take advantage of it.