Chennai, Jan 9: Winning their fifth ATP Chennai Open doubles crown after nine years surely felt good, but physically, it was not the same said Mahesh Bhupathi who along with Leander Paes annexed the crown here Sunday.
The Indian duo defeated the Dutch-US combination of Robin Haase and David Martin 6-2, 6-7 (3), 10-7 in the final.
“Yes, it does feel great to win the tournament, but the body is not like it was nine years ago when we last won here. But we are happy that we played high quality tennis and playing three matches on three nights is definitely tough,” said Bhupathi, who at 36, is a year younger to Paes.
Reviewing the match, Paes said: “I would say, the first set wasn’t all that good in terms of quality, but in the second, they began to throw everything at us and that meant we had to change our strategy.
“We opted for the slow, kicking serves and wide of the court, and in crunch moments, it was a team effort that helped us get through.
“In the second set, my thought process slowed down a bit and that was the time we needed to come together as a team which we did.”
Reflecting on their career, Bhupathi said: “We have been playing 14 years of competitive tennis and we are proud of that.
“But going into the Australian Open, we know that our tennis is not perfect. We will be going to Mumbai Monday to practice for a few days before heading out to Australia,” said Bhupathi. –(IANS)