Mahesh Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles continued their rampaging form to lift their fourth ATP title together, beating seventh seeds Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram in straight sets in the finals of USD three million Rogers Cup here.
The third seeds won 6-4 6-3 to clinch their first title at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament on Sunday. Bhupathi and Knowles played a solid service game and didn’t face a single break point in the match that lasted one hour 12 minutes.
The Indo-Bahamian duo had earned a place in the final by ousting defending champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the semifinals. Bhupathi, the Open Era doubles title leader at the Rogers Cup, collected his fifth Canadian title with a fourth different partner.
The 35-year-old had earlier lifted the doubles trophy in 1997 (with Leander Paes), 2003 (with Mirnyi), 2004 (with Paes) and 2007 (Pavel Vizner).
“I was joking with my coach that now I should probably buy a flat here since it is my fifth title in Canada!” Bhupathi said after the win.
Knowles returned to the winner’s circle in Canada for the first time since capturing his maiden ATP World Tour title on his tournament debut 16 years ago (with Jim Courier). He had finished runner-up in 1996 and 2002 with long-time partner Nestor.
“This is a very special tournament for me because this is where I won my first ATP title with Jim Courier...in 1993, just a couple of years ago,” said Knowles.
“Mahesh has had so much success here in the past and has carried me to the title,” he added. Bhupathi and Knowles, who became a regular pair last season, improved to a 4-6 record in tour-level finals with their team’s first title since last October in Basel.