SPORTS

Toronto's Nestor, partner Zimonjic advance to Dubai doubles title match

02/28/2014 05:55 EST | Updated 04/30/2014 05:59 EDT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic beat the first-time German combination of Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer 7-6(4), 7-6(8) to reach their second final of the season on Friday at the Dubai Championships.

Nestor will be contesting his third ATP final of 2014 after winning the season-opening Brisbane title with Pole Marius Fyrstenberg before he and Zimonjic reformed as a team a week later with a title performance in Sydney.

Nestor and Zimonjic, the top-ranked team, will face second seeds Rohan Bopanna of India and Pakistan's Asiam Qureshi in the final.

Nestor, with a record 83 doubles titles, won the Dubai trophy in 2002 with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas but has had little success at the Gulf venue since.

The 41-year-old believes that this season is already making up for the poor 2013 that he suffered through. After he and Zimonjic won Sydney, he teamed with Kristina Mladinovic to lift the Australian Open mixed trophy.

"I'm trying to avenge last season," Nestor said. "I've come out well so far. I fell we are playing well also. I'm winning matches this year that I was losing in 2013, that's a big difference."

The top seeds needed a lengthy 94 minutes to post the victory over their German opposition, a team playing together for the first time with neither man owning a doubles title. The winners finished with 10 aces and breaks on two of nine chances.

Nestor admitted that things could have gone smoother in the 45-minute opening set, which featured four breaks of serve. The second set was equally tight, also going into a decider.

Nestor's team missed on three match point chances in the breaker and had to save a set point for the Germans. But a Zimonjic volley set up a fourth winning chance and the Serb closed it out with an untouchable volley winner down the middle.

"It was tough today, those guys played well," said Nestor. "We had to fight hard. We generated more opportunities in the first set and really should have won it easier.

"In the second we had a couple of break points early but didn't make them play. We just couldn't put them away so easily. At the end, it could have gone either way."

MORE:cpSports