Bhupathi to team up with Mirnyi

American Bryan brothers capture doubles title, number one ranking


Bhupathi and Mirnyi had enjoyed a successful partnership in the past when  the two won the 2002 US Open and also reached the Wimbledon final in 2003.

Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas played together for the last time on Saturday when they lost in the semifinals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, going down to American Bryan brothers Bob and Mike 4-6, 4-6.

Knowles has decided to pair with American Mardy Fish. The two had claimed the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in February.

Mirnyi and his current partner Andy Ram of Israel have reached the final of the ATP World Tour Finals where they will face the Bryan twins.

Mirnyi and Ram had a decent 2009 season reaching three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals to qualify for the season finale. Ram will partner next year with Frenchman Michael Llodra.

Bryans win

Meanwhile, the Bryan brothers beat Mirnyi and Ram 7-6, 6-3 on Sunday to win the doubles title and regain the end-of-season number one ranking.

The US duo were pushed all the way in the first set by the Belarus-Israeli pairing, taking it on a tie-break, before sealing the win with a solitary break in the second.

Victory took the Bryan brothers ahead of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles standings. "It means so much," Bob Bryan said at a news conference. "It's pretty much what we play for now... The ultimate goal is to finish number one."

Pushed to backfoot

In the semifinal match on Saturday, the Bryan brothers were pushed to the backfoot early on by a fast start from the vastly experienced third seeds, who broke the Americans’ serve in the opening game with an exquisite backhand volley by Bhupathi.
Strong returns from the Bryans gave them chances to break back in the fourth game, though, and they were able to level as Knowles double-faulted.

The Bryans later clinched the first set in the 10th game as a forehand from Bob clipped the top of the net and landed just inside the baseline.

In a closely fought second set, neither team was able to make a breakthrough until the 10th game, when some fine net play by Mike, who exhibited stunning reflexes, earned them three match points.

The Bryans were able to capitalise on their second break point after another telling return forced the error from their opponents after 64 minutes.

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