It's about time
Knowles, Nestor finally win Grand Slam on fourth tryPosted: Saturday January 26, 2002 2:53 AM
Updated: Saturday January 26, 2002 6:07 AM
MELBOURNE (Reuters) -- Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor finally lifted the Australian Open men's doubles crown on Saturday, seven years after last appearing in the final.
The Bahamian-Canadian double act beat the French pair of Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro 7-6 6-3.
This was Knowles and Nestor's fourth appearance in a grand slam final together and they finally put an end to their losing streak.
The 1995 Australian defeat was followed by defeat in the 1998 French Open final and the 1998 U.S. Open final.
But against the French pairing, the ninth seeds proved solid, breaking their majors jinx in 77 minutes.
"We tried to block that out," Bahamian Knowles said of the grand slam jinx. "We put whatever is in the past behind us. I know three is a charm, but I was hoping fourth time would be a charm as well.
"We knew we had to play a good match and try to forget about all the other stuff."
The pair teamed up at the start of the year after a two-year split.
Nestor had teamed up with fellow Canadian Sebastien Laureau in 2000 to prepare for the doubles at the Sydney Olympics and it worked as they won gold.
In 2001 he played with Sandon Stolle but decided to approach Knowles again this year.
"I think we have a bit of magic and just thought we could become a really good team again," Nestor said.
Knowles is preparing for a hero's welcome in the Bahamas.
"It will be like Goran Ivanisevic returning to Croatia after winning Wimbledon," he smiled.
"I have the advantage of being a big fish in a very small pool in the Bahamas... this will be really big news there.
"When we won the semifinal the press guys called and said they were going to keep the newspapers open until the result of the final ... I tried not to think about that but it did add a little pressure.
"I didn't want the headlines to be 'He loses again'."
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