Down to the wire

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London

Round Robin, Day 3: [TR2] Daniel Nestor (CAN) and Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) vs. [TR4] Julien Benneteau / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

In doubles, you are only as strong as your weakest link and team morale is adversely affected by each player’s errors and mental state. Today, Nestor and Zimonjic were not as confident as one would expect for the number two ranked team and it showed in their games, as  they both came out playing tentatively.  The French team capitalized on their hesitant start and won the first set.  There were a few anxious moments when it appeared that the French team may succumb to their own doubts and lose the advantage.  Although they had opportunities to reclaim the lead in the second set and possibly win the match, they too were anxious and Roger-Vasselin lost his serve in the twelfth game to cost them that set.

The tension was palpable throughout the match as both teams badly wanted the victory after losing their first match. Therefore, it was fitting that the match went to a super tiebreak. Nestor gave the French team their first mini-break; however, Roger-Vasselin immediately gave it back.  Surprisingly, it was Nestor and Zimonjic who cracked under the pressure. Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin each elevated their games and played inspired tennis to win the tiebreak and the match 6-4, 5-7, 10-4.

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