Mahesh Bhupathi pair win Dubai Doubles

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Dubai, Mar 9 (UNI) Fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas won their second title in as many weeks with a hardfought 7-5, 7-6 (7) victory over third seeds Martin Damm and Pavel Vizner at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

It was a sweet win for Bhupathi yesterday who had just launched a Tennis Academy in Dubai this week which received an enthusiastic response from youngsters here. Bhupathi won the Dubai title in 1998 and 2004, while Knowles previously triumphed here in 2002.

Fresh from their Memphis win last weekend, Bhupathi and Knowles just about managed to keep the edge over the opponents in the closely fought match, as both pairs were chasing their second ATP title of the season. Damm and Vizner had won last month in Marseille.

In the 11th game it was the Czechs who first had the chance to break Knowles' serve. But Knowles held and then broke on Vizner's serve to win the set 7-5 in 42 minutes. The tie break in the second match saw some tense moments but the Bhupathi and Knowles held their own and took the set 9-7.

Bhupathi and Knowles have won their last eight matches in straight sets, and this was the 49th doubles title for Knowles, while Bhupathi picked up his 43rd career crown.

''At the moment, we are just trying to win as many matches as possible. We have not really been able to keep a tab on how many sets we have won so far,'' Knowles said.

Bhupathi told the Gulf New ''Obviously, our games complement each other, and both of us are hungry for some wins.'' ''We play to our strengths, and if at all someone has to beat us then one of us has to be off that day.'' Bhupathi disclosed that they will continue with their pairing for the foreseeable future. ''These are going to be exciting times for us,'' he predicted.


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