Estoril Open: Qureshi, Rojer capture first team title

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    Passionate Pakistani

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    Top seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer defeated fourth seeds Julian Knowle and David Marrero 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday to capture the Estoril Open doubles title.

    Qureshi is now 6-7 in tour-level finals, while Rojer improves to a 6-8 record. The duo started playing together at the start of the 2012 ATP World Tour season and are now 9-9 overall. It was their first ATP World Tour title. Rojer with the title last year with Eric Butorac.

    "It is a great feeling to win our first title together," said Qureshi. "We never gave up, always believed in each other and our ability. It s been a tough week. We had a few tough matches and we had a little more pressure with Jules having won it last year."

    Rojer added, "It s a good week for both of us. Some would say a much-needed title, but hopefully there will be more to come. We look forward to Madrid and Rome. This is a good build-up for those."

    In the first set, Rojer was broken first at 1-1, 30/40, when Qureshi hit a backhand volley into the net. Knowle confirmed the break with a hold to 15 for a 3-1 lead.

    At 4-3, Knowle saved one break point when Rojer hit a forehand long, but on the sudden death deuce, Qureshi hit a backhand return winner down the line. In the 12th game, with Knowle serving again, he fell to 15/40 and Qureshi took his chance, hitting a forehand, which Marrero volleyed into the net. The first set last 51 minutes.

    Knowle and Marrero started the 47-minute second set strongly, with Marrero converted one break point opportunity on Qureshi s serve with a backhand volley delicately placed wide of Rojer.

    The Austrian and Spaniard went onto take a 4-2 lead, before Qureshi and Rojer won three games in a row. At 4-3 Knowle was broken when he hit a backhand volley into the net. Then, at 5-6, the Austrian dropped to 15/40 when he hit a smash into the net.

    Qureshi and Rojer soon wrapped up victory in one hour and 39 minutes on Central Court at the Estadio Nacional.
    Knowle and Marrero were playing together for only the second time. They reached the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy final in Bucharest last year.

    Knowle drops to a 13-17 record in ATP World Tour finals, with his last title coming in October 2009 at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.

    Marrero, the 2010 titlist with Marc Lopez, is 4-5 in doubles title matches. He has won two ATP World Tour trophies this year with Fernando Verdasco at the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

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