Santoro/Zimonjic Eye Another Run to the Masters Cup Final
In doubles, Fabrice Santoro and Nenad Zimonjic became the sixth team to qualify for the circuit finale after claiming the Moscow title. The French-Serbian duo, a new pairing in 2006, has compiled a 36-14 season record and three titles this season (Sydney, Halle). They also reached the final at Masters Series Monte-Carlo and Wimbledon.
Santoro said: “It’s always a great feeling to go the Masters Cup. When we started the year, it was our goal to be there in Shanghai at the end of the year. Now we did it and hopefully we can play well the next few weeks before Shanghai to get some confidence and be there to fight for the title.”
The two will be making their second consecutive appearance at the Tennis Masters Cup; Santoro took the crown last year with Michael Llodra, defeating Leander Paes and Zimonjic in the final. Zimonjic said: "Hopefully this year we can be there again, and this time I can win it together with him. It’s going to be second time for him, first for me, but it’s nice to have somebody like that with a lot of experience and I think we have a good chance to go far if we play good, of course. It’s the best teams in the world.”
Two team spots remain in the Tennis Masters Cup field, and the No. 7 duo of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram could secure their spot in Shanghai by winning the Madrid title. Meanwhile, in the heated battle for the eighth spot, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski maintain a slim 14-point lead over Simon Aspelin and Todd Perry in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.
Other teams that have already qualified include Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds in Madrid; Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi; Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett; three-time Madrid champions Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor; and the veteran duo of Martin Damm and Leander Paes, who are making their first circuit appearance since winning the US Open.