Bhupathi, Llodra wear Dubai crown
Nadal tames Almagro to seal second final berth upon return
Mahesh Bhupathi won his first title of the 2013 season when he combined with Frenchman Michael Llodra to edge past Robert Lindstedt and Nenand Zimonjic in the summit clash of the Dubai Championships here on Saturday.
Unseeded Bhupathi and Llodra downed the third seeded rivals 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6) in a fiercely fought final.
It was Bhupathi’s fifth title in Dubai. He first won the trophy here in 1998 with Leander Paes, then again in 2004 with Fabrice Santoro, in 2008 with Mark Knowles and last year with compatriot Rohan Bopanna.
Nadal in final
In Acapulco, Rafael Nadal advanced to the final of the Mexican Open on Saturday, beating fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-4 in a clay-court slugfest.
Second seed Nadal, who is on the comeback trail after missing seven months due to a left knee injury, will face another Spaniard, three-time defending champion and top seed David Ferrer, in the final scheduled for Saturday night.
Ferrer defeated Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 earlier on Friday.
Ranked 12th in the world, Almagro, the tournament's third seed, is the highest-ranked opponent Nadal has faced in his comeback so far.
While the former World No 1 appeared to move well throughout the match, he did visibly limp on his left leg after losing the first game of the second set.
But moments later the limp was gone and Nadal, now ranked fifth in the world, jogged to the opposite side of the court as the players changed sides.
Nadal, an 11-times Grand Slam champion, staved off all four break points he faced while breaking Almagro once each set.
That proved the difference and secured him a place in the final against Ferrer.
Top seed John Isner downed defending champion Kevin Anderson 6-2, 7-6 in a battle of tennis giants to march into the semifinals of the Delray Beach International on Friday.
The 2.06 metre (6ft 9in) Isner blasted 17 aces against the 2.03 metre (6ft 8in) South African to prevail in 79 minutes and will play Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin for a place in the final.
Roger-Vasselin was too good for Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis, advancing with a fuss-free 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Second-seeded German Tommy Haas had more trouble getting past Croatian Ivan Dodig but prevailed 7-6, 2-6, 6-1. Gulbis dispatched Spaniard Daniel Munoz 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth quarterfinal.†