Kontinen/Peers Capture First Masters 1000 Crown

Pairing heads into London on a roll

Henri Kontinen and John Peers continued their late-season surge on Sunday, winning their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 team title at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

The unseeded Kontinen/Peers knocked off top-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in front of a partisan French crowd. The Finnish/Australian duo struck 11 aces and outplayed Herbert/Mahut in the Match Tie-break, leading 9-4 before Peers clinched the title with a forehand volley.

“It was amazing to actually get the first Masters [1000] title for both of us. I know we've put in a lot of hard work together and it's something to cap off a really good year, just before we head into London,” Peers said.

Kontinen/Peers had reached the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters last month but fell in straight sets to Americans Jack Sock and John Isner. With the Paris title, they'll climb one spot to No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London. They'll also enter the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals later this month as one of the hottest doubles teams on tour, having dropped only one set en route to their maiden Masters 1000 crown.

“We've just been really building all year, and I believed it was just a matter of time until we really got in sync and started to actually back it up match after match,” Peers said. “We've been able to get some really good matches here and there throughout the year but it's actually been a challenge for us to back it up every day. I think we're starting to learn how to do that as a team and also as individuals so it's been really good to be able to do that.”

Kontinen/Peers will make their team debut at the season finale, to be held 13-20 November at The O2 in London. They will receive 1,000 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings and split €222,150 in prize money for winning the Paris title.

“It's a point here and there, and today we got a couple of lucky ones in the Match Tie-break and that obviously helped us in the end,” Kontinen said.

Herbert/Mahut were trying to win their fourth Masters 1000 crown of the season after securing back-to-back-to-back Masters 1000 titles to start the year (Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo). “They were serving hard. They had a good percentage. They were up at the net immediately,” Mahut said.

The Frenchmen still head to London with a barrel of momentum, having also reached the semi-finals in Basel (l. to Granollers/Sock) and the final in Antwerp (l. to Nestor/Roger-Vasselin) last month. Herbert/Mahut will receive 600 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings Points and split €108,750 in prize money.

“We know all the teams quite well. The teams are all very good and all the matches will be very tight,” Herbert said.