My Masters 1000: Treat Huey & Max Mirnyi
Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi have extra motivation this week at the BNP Paribas Open. Since making his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 debut in 1997 at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the 39-year-old Mirnyi has won 16 doubles titles at this level. Of the current Golden 9, Indian Wells remains the only title missing from his collection. Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Huey has his sights sets on a first Masters 1000 title following a runner-up finish in the desert four years ago.
What makes these Masters 1000 tournaments special?
Mirnyi: There’s a lot to play for. The best teams are playing. There’s a lot of points, prize money, and this is where you can improve your game and move up the [Emirates ATP Doubles] Rankings.
Huey: Especially being here [in Indian Wells], this is the best doubles tournament of the year. It’s all the top doubles teams and pretty much all the top singles guys playing in doubles also, competing for the title. It’s all the best players in the world playing doubles, so it’s a lot of fun. The crowd here always loves doubles; it’s always packed. We obviously love that.
What's your favourite Masters 1000 tournament?
Mirnyi: They are all unique and different in their own way, but this one certainly stands out from a doubles perspective because the following for doubles here seems to be the biggest. It being in the Southern California region, there’s a lot of universities, the recreational tennis developed very well, so it seems like everyone that comes in here plays tennis and that helps for us to play our best tennis in front of them.
Huey: Same, I obviously think this is the best. Being a doubles guy, there’s nothing better than say for us playing first round here with three or four thousand fans in the crowd, playing Stan [Wawrinka] and Grigor [Dimitrov], two great guys. It’s a fun atmosphere, the crowd getting into it. We played well. It’s a good atmosphere to play in and as a player you love playing in front of tons of people, so it’s great.
Is there a Masters 1000 match that stands out?
Huey: Four years ago I made the final here [with Jerzy Janowicz], played the Bryans, night match on Stadium. It was pretty packed, playing the Bryans here in California, so that was a lot of fun and a great atmosphere.
Mirnyi: For me, it’s ironic, but [this tournament] also sticks out, but I lost in the finals here twice. Back in 2002, I played here with Roger Federer and we lost to [Daniel] Nestor and [Mark] Knowles. That was a very close match. Many years later I played here with Andy Ram and we lost to [Andy] Roddick & [Mardy] Fish, so this is the only Masters 1000 title that has eluded me so far and those are the losses that probably stand out and are the more painful.
How hungry are you to win the Indian Wells title because of that?
Mirnyi: Very hungry.
Huey: Yeah, let’s win it. Let’s do it.