Dom Inglot/Daniel Nestor captured their first title as a double partnership, defeating the top seeds Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(4) to win the Aegon Open.
The top two seeds in Nottingham this week were contesting the final in what was their first meeting. The top seeds were competing in their 12th final together (W4-L7), boasting a lifetime 123-71 win/loss record as a team. Dodig/Melo opened their campaign with a straight sets win over Wildcards Jonathan Marray/Adil Shamasdin, before seeing off Robert Lindstedt/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 10-5 in a match tiebreak and then recovering from a set down to defeat Oliver Marach/Fabrice Martin in yesterday’s semifinal 5-7, 6-3, 10-6.
Inglot/Nestor only joined forces as a pair at The Queen’s Club last week (l. to Herbert/Mahut in 1R), however Inglot captured this title in 2014 (d. Peya/Soares 10-8 in Match TB), while his partner Nestor owns an 88-58 record in finals. The second seeds earned their first win as a team against Jonathan Erlich/Colin Fleming in straight sets and then ousted Nicholas Monroe/Artem Sitak also in straight sets before defeating Santiago Gonzalez/Scott Lipsky 7-6(4), 6-4 in Thursday’s semifinal.
Second seeds under pressure early
The final was due to start at 12pm BST, but as thunder and rain swept across the Nottingham Tennis Centre there was no play until 13:15 BST.
Both teams came through their opening service games with ease, but in the fourth game, the Brit and Canadian were under pressure. Inglot missed a volley to leave the second seeds facing two break points down 15-40, but two big serves fired down by Nestor and an Inglot volley to close rescued the game.
In the teams next service game, they were down 0-30 once more, but this time, the Brit came up with big first serves to reel off four points in a row to hold.
Inglot/Nestor ride the wave of momentum
In the eleventh game, Inglot/Nestor made a crucial breakthrough as they excerpted pressure on the top seeds serve for the first time, drawing errors from Melo to take a 6-5 lead.
With two set points in hand, Inglot missed the first with a volley before Dodig hit a service return down the line winner to get to deuce, deciding point. A big first serve and a forehand put away from the Canadian wrapped up the set for the second seeds 7-5.
Inglot/Nestor delighted the crowd as they continued their momentum, breaking serve at the start of the second set. Nestor netted a forehand at 30-40, but the top seed made an error on deciding point to hand them the break.
Rain temporarily changes the course of the match
After a series of service holds, in the ninth game a fine lob winner from Inglot followed by an error from Dodig gave the second seeds match point at deuce, deciding point but the top seeds held firm to stay in contention.
When serving for the championship on Inglot’s serve, the second seeds played a loose game and were facing two break points. Inglot/Nestor took the next two points but at deuce, with the championship or a break of serve on the line, Dodig produced a fine return of serve winner with a forehand down the line which appeared to be a hit and hope shot. With the remarkable shot landing in, the top seeds levelled the final at 5-5 as play was then suspended due to rain.
Inglot/Nestor secure victory
Upon the resumption of play the top seeds fell down 15-30 and faced a deciding point, but an ace from Dodig took the pair ahead for the first time in the second set. The second seeds faced set point in the following game, but Nestor came up with two big unreturned first serves to take them into a tiebreak.
The second seeds got off to a great start in the tiebreak, taking a 3-0 lead. The top seeds clawed it back to 5-4, but the Brut and Canadian pair held their nerve to capture the title 7-5, 7-6(4).