Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Belarus partner Max Mirnyi advanced to their fourth doubles championship of the season Saturday, beating longtime rivals Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes of India 6-1, 6-4 at the Shanghai Masters.
Nestor, 39, and Mirnyi, who won the French Open doubles crown in June, needed just 52 minutes to win their semifinal contest at Qi Zhong stadium.
The world's second-ranked team will play for its third trophy of the season Sunday when it faces France's Michael Llodra and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic — Nestor's former partner. The third-seeded Llodra and Zimonjic downed Poland's Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 7-6 (5).
“This was probably one of the best matches we've played this season,” said Nestor. “Max was serving bombs and I played well, especially on returns.
“They've beaten us three matches in a row so it was good to get one back and take a win. We're going into the final feeling pretty good. “We can't have more confidence than after playing a match like that.’
Nestor said facing Llodra and Zimonjic in the final won't be easy.
“He (Zimonjic) and I had three good years together, they've been the best team of the past three months, so it will be a challenge,” he said.
Nestor and Mirnyi produced four aces and three breaks while saving both of the break points they faced.
In singles action, Andy Murray overpowered Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-0 in under an hour to advance to the final against David Ferrer.
Ferrer struggled to beat fellow Spanish player Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, the third straight match the fifth-ranked player has come back to win after losing the first set.
The fourth-ranked Murray has now won 24 of his last 25 matches and is vying to win his third tournament in as many weeks.
Murray has beaten Ferrer twice this year — last week in the semifinals of the Japan Open in Tokyo and in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January.