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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nestor/Zimonjic retain doubles trophy

Photo Titled Nestor and Zimonjic trophy
Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic enjoy the celebrations after defeating the Bryan brothers to regain the doubles title.
Defending champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic retained their Wimbledon crown by defeating top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in a high-quality doubles final.

The 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 contest always promised to be an intense affair between the two top doubles team in the world. But it was the second seeded pair that eventually stole the advantage, winning a total of 142 points compared with the Bryans’ 139 in a duel that displayed immaculate doubles play.

The sheer quality of tennis was perhaps illustrated by the fact it took an hour and 38 minutes before the first break point opportunity of the match even arose. That was on Zimonjic’s serve in the third set. Until that point, the play had been near flawless but the Serb served three double faults in that game.

A Nestor smash gave the second seeds a get out of jail card and it was the Canadian who again came up with the goods in the eventual third set tiebreak. He produced an incredible passing winner to earn the pair four set points, which they converted on their second opportunity.

On paper, the Bryans were the favourite to win the title as top seeds. The 2006 Wimbledon champions and holders of seven Grand Slam titles were also making their 15th appearance in a major final, while this was only Nestor and Zimonjic's third together.

However, Nestor and Zimonjic went into the match with a 5-3 upper hand over the Americans in the head to heads. All their previous meetings had been in finals but it was the Canadian/Serb duo who had won five of the last six contests so their confidence was brimming.

When a breakpoint opportunity emerged early in the fourth set, Nestor and Zimonjic wasted no time in seizing it. The previous three sets had all broken the 40-minute barrier, but the 2-0 lead gave the second seeds the jolt they needed and they whisked away the third set in under half an hour. Zimonjic closed out the match with an ace to earn the pair their second Grand Slam title together.

Speaking after the match, Nestor described retaining the title as a "great accomplishment". "It's great to come back here. One of the first things I noticed was our name on the board, on the big plaque. Now we get it twice. It's obviously going to be special to come back next year and see that.

"We played two solid finals. I thought we played pretty well from start to finish. Those guys are obviously a great team. We both served well, returned well when we had to. Nenad played great. It's great to be back as champions."

Zimonjic agreed: "It's always special to play on the Centre Court, a full stadium. I have to say that this is the only place with such a big tradition, and the doubles is still very popular."

Nestor also spoke of his delight at winning a second title with Zimonjic. "It's amazing. We started playing together to win Grand Slams. That's what we've done. Unfortunately, this year at the French Open I played a bad match in the semis. I thought we could have easily won that slam too.

"The way we play together, we give ourselves a chance to win every tournament and every Grand Slam. We have a good chance of winning on every surface, I think, which is nice."

Centre Court - Gentlemen's Doubles - Finals
Bob Bryan USA (1)/
Mike Bryan USA (1)
Daniel Nestor CAN (2)/
Nenad Zimonjic SRB (2)

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