Re: ~*~ Jonas tournament cheering thread ~*~
November 19, 2006
Bjorkman & Mirnyi Win Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai Title Over Knowles & Nestor
By Sandra Harwitt
Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi (audio) got things right this year at the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai.
Playing in their second consecutive circuit-ending tournament together, Bjorkman and Mirnyi went from winning no matches at the event in 2005 to winning every match they played in 2006.
The end result: Bjorkman and Mirnyi won their first career Tennis Masters Cup title together with a scorching 6-2, 6-4 victory over Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor.
“I think we saved the best until last, and we couldn't have finished the year better than this way,” Bjorkman said. “We just played probably the best match of the year.”
“We felt really good. [We] had no stiffness after that long match yesterday. Like I said, we’re used to play a lot of matches. I think that actually helped us, that we had a tough one yesterday. We came out here and were ready to rock and played almost a hundred percent perfect match.”
It was Bjorkman and Mirnyi’s second victory this week over the Knowles and Nestor pairing – they also beat the Bahamian-Canadian duo 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in the round robin portion of the tournament. The victory provides Bjorkman and Mirnyi with a 5-4 winning record over Knowles and Nestor.
This marks the first season-ending title for Mirnyi, but the second for Bjorkman.
Over a decade ago in 1994, Bjorkman teamed with fellow Swede Jan Apell to win what was then called the ATP Tour World Doubles Championship.
The second seeds here, Bjorkman and Mirnyi add the exclusive Tennis Masters Cup trophy to the five other titles they won this year – Doha, AMS Miami, AMS Monte-Carlo, Roland Garros and AMS Cincinnati.
The duo also reached the final of the U.S. Open in September, losing to martin Damm and Leander Paes.
“I really love playing singles and doubles,” Bjorkman said. “For me, it is a great game. I have so much fun to play with Max. He's probably the most professional guy I ever seen and played with on and off the court. It's just really, really nice to be around him. You know, it's been great fun these two years, and hopefully we can have the same success next year.”
Knowles and Nestor, the third seeds here, were hoping to win their first year-end title in this their eighth time playing together in the final event of the season.
While they will go home again without the season-ending championship title, they can feel proud of their year in which they powered their way to four titles – Delray Beach, AMS Indian Wells, AMS Rome and Basel.
Bjorkman and Mirnyi raced out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set and then took a 5-3 lead in the second set by breaking Knowles’ serve in the seventh game.
Serving for the match made Mirnyi, a native of Belarus, a bit nervous. The Knowles-Nestor duo were able to make headway in the game to 30-30, before surrendering two points later when a service return sailed wide.
Bryans || Djokovic || Paire || Rojer || Tecau || Pospisil || Chiudinelli || Verdasco || Simon || Seppi || Leo Mayer
Björkman || Arthurs || Edberg || Nalbandian || Hanley || Rafter
T.Johansson || M.Norman || Aspelin || O. Rochus || Söderling