Bjorkman-Ullyett Triumph In Paris
Fifth seeds Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett won their second ATP title with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded South Africans Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie in the final of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris on Sunday.
While Coetzee and Moodie failed to capitalize on any of their four break points, Bjorkman and Ullyett converted four of seven opportunities to secure victory in 58 minutes.
The Swedish-Zimbabwean team of Bjorkman and Ullyett qualified for Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai in fourth place in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.
“The last two matches we’ve played have been the best of our year I think,” said Ullyett. “Today was really good, we didn’t do anything wrong. We fought hard, came at some big break points and dominated on the returns. It was a great 48 hours for me, really special.”
“Our energy the last two days has just been going out there to win every point aggressively so (in Shanghai) we’re just going to try and play as aggressively as we can.”
Bjorkman and Ullyett won their first team title three weeks ago at Stockholm (d. Brunstrom-Ryderstedt) and have since followed with two semifinal exits at the Mutua Madrilena Masters Madrid and last week in Lyon. Earlier in the season they finished runners-up to Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic at Wimbledon.
Bjorkman, who will retire at the season end said: “Obviously it’s always easy to start thinking about maybe playing longer, but that’s only on the good weeks and I’m old enough and got the experience to know that it’s not going to be each week.”
“I feel great, it’s really great to finish off strongly and do it in good style. We’ve been playing our best tennis the last three or four weeks so we’re really looking forward to Shanghai. Winning in Bastad and Stockholm and finishing off with Paris it’s nothing that I could have really expected. This is way beyond my goals at the end here so I just hope the good omen continues in Shanghai.”
It is the second title of the season for both Bjorkman and Ullyett. The 36-year-old Bjorkman, who also titled at Bastad with Robin Soderling, improved to a 54-42 lifetime record in ATP finals. Ullyett, also 36, triumphed in Nottingham with Bruno Soares and has a 33-24 career mark in ATP finals.
Coetzee and Moodie will make their team debut at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai after qualifying with their semifinal win on Saturday. They were appearing in their third ATP final of the season, having opened with a runner-up finish at Doha (l. to Kohlschreiber-Skoch) and won the Estoril title in April (d. J. Murray-Ullyett).
“Unfortunately we had a bit of a slow start”, said Coetzee. “We could have had a break early on it was just really unlucky and they played well and they’re really good front runners.”