We are here to stay, says Bhupathi

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Dubai, Mar 10 (UNI) India's Mahesh Bhupathi and doubles partner Mark Knowles of the Bahamas after winning Dubai Tennis Open doubles last weekend are looking forward to stick together eyeing more wins in the future.

''We've been good friends for 15 years now and both of us did not have a regular partner for the past two years or so. We are looking forward to a long run together,'' Bhupathi told newspersons after Saturday's final.

Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas intended coming together at the end of last season, but Bhupathi was hamstrung by an injury.

''So we had to somehow work out a schedule when we could start playing together,'' Knowles told the Gulf News.

Knowles is the winner of 49 doubles titles, most of these in the company of Daniel Nestor from whom he decided to part ways last season after more than ten years together. Knowles and Bhupathi are currently second in the Stanford ATP Doubles Ranking behind leaders Andy Ram and Jan Erlich.

''Overall we are a good team together. I have my strong points and Mark has his. I have a fine serve and volley game and Mark is so athletic and strong at the net,'' Bhupathi said, adding ''So we try to match each other and complement each other's strengths.

If at all someone wants to win against us then one of us will have to be off that day.'' UNI XC CS SY KP1119

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