Canadian Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus overcame India's Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan's Asian-Ul-Haq Qureshi in a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 11-9 (match tiebreak) victory on Sunday to begin group play at the ATP World Tour Finals.
The win was particularly sweet, coming a week after Nestor and Mirnyi lost the Paris Masters final to the Bopanna-Qureshi team.
“It was good to get that first win, especially after losing to them in Paris,” said Nestor. “The difference was that today we started better.”
The 39-year-old Toronto native sealed the first of three group matches with an ace, which was ruled good by electronic linecalling.
Nestor and Mirnyi still have to face the teams of Michael Llodra-Nenad Zimonjic and Mariusz Fyrstenberg-Marcin Matkowski before advancing out of Group B.
The top two teams from both Group A and B move on to Saturday's semifinals.
A championship at this tournament will be Nestor's 75th career doubles title — tied for sixth on the all-time Open-era list. He has played on three winning teams at the year-end ATP Tour Finals tournament.
Nestor and Mirnyi had a tough opening set, twice going up a break but losing each.
“We lost both of my serves to allow them to get back into the match,” said Nestor. “That's unacceptable.
“Once we go up a break, that should be the set.”
Nestor and Mirnyi recovered in the match tiebreak, rallying from a 3-6 deficit to win on a second match point.