Nestor/Zimonjic Win Madrid

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Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic captured their 26th ATP World Tour team title Sunday as they defeated World No. 1 pairing Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open.

The Canadian/Serbian duo won their second title since reuniting at the start of the 2014 season, adding to their victory at the Apia International Sydney (d. Bopanna/Qureshi). It is their second title together in Madrid, having lifted the trophy in 2009 (d. Aspelin/Moodie).

The sixth-seeded Nestor and Zimonjic broke Mike Bryan’s serve in the fifth game of the first set and twice more in the second set to take a 6-4, 5-2 lead. Zimonjic served out the victory, converting the team’s fourth match point in 59 minutes.
“We had a couple of chances to win tournaments earlier this year, but didn’t play so well in those opportunities,” said Nestor. “Today we played amazing. I think that’s the most important thing, playing well on the big occasion.

“They’re such great front runners. It’s always important to at least stay close. Today we were fortunate to get ahead. The best thing is that we had some touch situations on serve and we fought through it. We’ve been resilient all year and it’s nice to play our best match.”

Victory takes the 41-year-old Nestor to 84 tour-level titles, giving him sole ownership of third place in the Open Era doubles title leaderboard. The Canadian trails Mike Bryan (100 titles) and Bob Bryan (98). The left-hander claimed his fifth Madrid title, having also triumphed in 2002, 2004 and 2005 with former long-time partner Mark Knowles.

The 37-year-old Zimonjic, who claimed his 600th tour-level doubles match win earlier in the week, clinched his 51st tour-level title. He joins Ilie Nastase in 23rd place on the all-time list, just one behind India’s Mahesh Bhupathi.

“It’s always a big challenge to play the best in the world,” said Zimonjic. “They’ve been the best in the world for many years and hold many records. To be on the same court with Daniel, Mike and Bob is a great honour. They are the three best players in doubles. They won the most titles. It’s always great to win a Masters 1000, especially when we play like we did today.”

Defeat sees the Bryans’ run of 24 match wins come to an end. The Americans had been hunting for their sixth title in a row, following victories in Delray Beach (d. Cermak/Elgin), Indian Wells (d. Peya/Soares), Miami (d. Cabal/Farah), Houston (d. Marrero/Verdasco) and Monte-Carlo (d. Dodig/Melo). They suffered their first defeat since losing against Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen in the Memphis final.

The 36-year-old Bryans had been chasing their sixth Madrid crown. They were the defending champions at the Caja Magica, having lifted the trophy last year with victory over Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

Currently third in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, Nestor and Zimonjic received 1000 points after winning this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.