Leander Paes and his German partner Andre Begemann conceded a one-set advantage to go down to Dominic Inglot and Henri Kontinen in the men’s doubles final of the St Petersburg Open.
The Indo-German duo lost 6-4, 3-6, 10-12 to the British-Finnish combination in a match that lasted an hour and 19 minutes. The closing stages of the match had its share of drama as Paes and Begemann looked to have the match sealed in the super tiebreak but for a review that went in Inglot and Kontinen’s favour.
Paes and Begemann won the opening set rather comfortably before running out of steam to go down in the next two sets.
Paes had last won an ATP men’s doubles title, along with South Africa’s Raven Klaasen, in the 2015 New Zealand Open in Auckland. Since then, Paes has had issues finding the right combination and played with Marcel Granollers, Sam Groth, John Peers, Lukasz Kubot, Jeremy Chardy and now Begemann.
First set remained on serve at 4-4 with both teams producing solid display of serve and volley before the Inglot and Kontinen pairing was broken in the ninth game to give the Indo-German pair the chance to close out the opener. And they did so with ease to continue their unbeaten streak this week as far as sets are concerned.
But that statistic reversed when Paes and Begemann were broken in the eighth game of the second set. Leading 4-3, Inglot and Kontinen broke their opponent’s serve and created an opening that was capitalised upon.
In the super tiebreak, Paes and Begemann started better to take a 3-0 lead but they then let go of the momentum as the British and Finnish combo forced the previous into making mistakes.
At 9-8, Paes and Begemann celebrated as Inglot’s volley was called wide. But the celebrations were short lived as the video replay confirmed the ball had kissed the line forcing the point to be replayed. On the replay, Inglot and Kontinen produced a good serve and volley strategy to make it even.
Thereafter Paes saved the match point for his team at 9-10 when he put away a comfortable volley at the net. However it was curtains when an error by Paes and Begemann gave Inglot and Kontinen the win.
(With inputs from PTI)