© Getty Images

Nenad Zimonjic claimed his 53rd doubles title, as he teamed up with Vasek Pospisil in Basel.

Pospisil/Zimonjic Capture Basel Crown

New partnership pays immediate dividends.
Vasek Pospisil and Nenad Zimonjic captured their first ATP World Tour team title on Sunday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The second seeds defeated Marin Draganja and Henri Kontinen 7-6(13), 1-6, 10-6 in the final, which lasted just over 90 minutes.

“We arranged this partnership in Beijing,” said Pospisil. “We both knew we could play well together. We just clicked really well and had great energy. We obviously served really well, so it was a great week for us. We matched really well together.”

Pospisil and Zimonjic, who came through Match tie-break victories in two of their other matches this week, shared €104,090 in prize money and earned 500 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings points. Pospisil improved to 3-2 in tour-level doubles finals, while five-time Basel finalist Zimonjic is now 53-33 in title matches. Zimonjic lifted the trophy in 2009 and 2012 (w/Nestor) and in 2011 (w/Llodra).

“It was a tough draw and tough competition," said Zimonjic. "We managed to get through, which is always amazing when you first play with someone. The last five times here have been amazing for me. I won three times previously, plus one final, and now this year – all with three incredible partners. The Basel crowd enjoys doubles. To win this many times at this tough tournament is not easy.”

Neither team could convert any of their break points — two for Draganja/Kontinen and three for Pospisil/Zimonjic — en route to a first set tie-break. Draganja and Kontinen failed to convert five set points at 6/5, 7/6 (on serve), 8/7, 10/9 and 12/11, while Pospisil and Zimonjic squandered chances at 9/8, 11/10, 13/12 before finally clinching the 57-minute opener on serve at 14/13. Both teams lost just two of their first service points in the first set.

“When you have such a close first set, the next set is always tough. We had a little bit of a letdown and they relaxed a bit after losing the first set. They had some great return games and we went down really fast in the second set, but we did not panic. At one-set all, it is a fresh match.”

Draganja and Kontinen immediately bounced back from the disappointment, allowing Pospisil and Zimonjic just six points through five games of the second set that lasted 21 minutes. But the momentum shifted back to Pospisil and Zimonjic in the Match tie-break, as the Canadian-Serbian team took a 5/0 lead. Draganja and Kontinen got the score back to 4/5, before being outplayed.

Draganja and Kontinen were also beaten in last month’s Moselle Open (l. to Fyrstenberg-Matkowski). The Croatian-Finnish tandem split €46,960 and 300 points.