Australian John Peers and Slovakian Filip Polasek have lifted their maiden title as a team at the BNP Paribas Open, taking down Russian pair Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 7-6(5) in Indian Wells on Saturday.
The second set was a nail biter. Peers and Polasek had two match points at 5-3 on Rublev's serve, but were unable to convert, and were then broken in the following game, eventually leading to a tiebreaker. The pair then trailed 3-5 in the tiebreaker, but lifted their level and were brilliant at the net, eventually claiming victory in 90 minutes.
It took some time for the Peers, Polasek partnership to get going. The duo suffered first round defeats in their first two tournaments playing together in Washington and Toronto, and then went down in the second round in Cincinnati. But since the US Open, their form has been outstanding, winning 12/14 matches, reaching the US Open semis, the San Diego final, and now lifting the trophy in Indian Wells.
The title improves the pairs win/loss record as a team to 13/5.
It's a fourth career ATP Masters 1000 title for Peers, and his 25th overall career title on the ATP Tour. For Polasek, it is his second Masters 1000 title and is 16th overall career title on the tour.
“It’s always great fun getting back to the desert and playing here,” Peers said post match. “To be able to say we have won the title here is very special. We started pretty slow as a team but we put in some good work pre US Open."
“It’s been a lot of fun since and we’ve continued to work and enjoy playing together. We’re riding the doubles rollercoaster and will try to get results like this more often. We’re looking forward to continuing together," Peers said.
”I’m really happy the way we played. We came here early, which helped us to adapt to the conditions. It was very different to play in the day than in the night sessions, which we played in our last matches, and we were probably able to adapt the best of all teams," Polasek said post match.
John Peers will join Brett Phillips in a must listen edition of The First Serve tomorrow night, to talk about his triumph.
In singles action on Saturday in Indian Wells, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and Brit Cam Norrie locked in a showdown in the final.
Basilashvili saved three sets points in the first set and all seven break points he faced in the second set to defeat local Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 6-3, advancing to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 final.
“It means a lot, especially at Indian Wells, which people call it like a fifth Grand Slam. To get through so many matches is very important,” Basilashvili said post match.
“I’m at the top of my game now and feeling the best. This was my first time in a Masters 1000 semi-final so I was a little bit tight. I just tried to get rid of as much as I could because if I just focus on my game I can play good tennis," Basilashvili said.
Brit Cam Norrie is the man he will face in the final.
It's a maiden ATP Masters 1000 final for the 26 year old as well, who took down the in form Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4 in an incredibly impressive display on Saturday.
"It was the biggest match of my career, following on from yesterday, which was the biggest match. There was even more pressure today. I came out and played really physical. Grigor was maybe a little tired from the other matches, but he fought hard and made it physical at the start of the second set, which wasn't easy," Norrie said post match.
The Brit has enjoyed a remarkable breakout season, reaching his sixth tour level final for the season. Only Novak Djokovic has reached the same amount of finals this year.
"I've been playing a lot of big matches this year, which has helped. I feel like I am used to the big moments and the big matches. I'm feeling more and more comfortable and I feel like I am playing on my terms in key moments," Norrie said.
Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips each Monday at 8pm AEDT on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
John Peers and Storm Sanders will join Brett Phillips in this weeks episode.
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