Canadian Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi won on Saturday despite their opponent's playful antics.
The No. 2 seeds reached their second straight ATP final with an entertaining 6-3, 7-6 (2) defeat of Czech Radek Stepanek and Argentine Juan Del Potro at the Erste Bank Open.
The 39-year-old Toronto native and Mirnyi of Belarus had a commanding lead when Stepanek began to break out — both in his performance and his behaviour.
The Czech veteran started playing to the crowd as his game lifted while serving for victory to tie the second set 5-5.
“It was fun and distracting at the same time,” said Nestor, whose team will play the winner from top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan and former champions Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland, seeded fourth.
“It's never easy to play when a guy's on fire like that. We had to play solid, which we did. It was a good win in the end and we're glad to be in another final.”
Stepanek's act ranked from dancing to the on-court music when he and his partner returned after a changeover, to catching a high lob in his pocket to sitting down for a brief discussion with Del Potro after a long and tiring point.
In the end, it was tennis that made the winning difference for Nestor and Mirnyi. The pair will play their second final in as many events after winning the Shanghai Rolez Masters a fortnight ago.
The Canadian's team eventually earned the win in a second-set tiebreaker as Stepanek hit a behind-the-back return long after 78 minutes of entertainment.
Besides Shanghai, Nestor and his partner have played in title matches this season at the French Open and Memphis in February.
The pair will be bidding for their third trophy of the season.
Nestor is a defending champion at the event after winning last year with former partner Nenad Zimonkic of Serbia. The Canadian also claimed the title in 2005 with Mark Knowles while Mirnyi won it alongside Andy Ram in 2008.
Earlier, Del Potro triumphed in singles competition, beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to reach his third final of the season.
The second-seeded Argentine will try and win his ninth career title when he plays either top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or qualifier Daniel Brands on Sunday.Report Typo/Error
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