Third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Nenad Zimonjic captured their first ATP World Tour title together Sunday as they defeated Dutch duo Thiemo De Bakker and Jesse Huta Galung 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
The Swedish/Serbian duo were playing their fifth tournament together and had reached the final of the If Stockholm Open on their team debut in October (l. to Melo/Soares). However, they had only won one match together in 2013 and in their first-round match this week, they had saved one match point against Eric Butorac and Paul Hanley.
“It’s always great to win your first title. This is our fourth tournament of the year and we were definitely struggling,” said Zimonjic referring to first-round defeats in Doha and Sydney and a second-round exit at the Australian Open. “The beginning of the week was really tough and we were lucky at times. We managed to play better and better. This will give us a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”
Lindstedt added, “I’m over the moon. It’s an amazing feeling. We didn’t have the best start to the season, but it’s not easy when you start as a new team. We had some very rough matches here, had to fight. It’s funny how tennis is. It can really turn on a dime and we played some pretty good tennis in the semis and final.”
The 36-year-old Zimonjic lifted the trophy at this ATP World Tour 500 indoor tournament for the fourth time, having reached the final for the fifth year in a row; the only year he missed out was in 2011 when he and Michael Llodra finished runners-up to Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner. The Belgrade native improved to a 47-30 finals record.
Lindstedt, 35, won the Rotterdam title for the first time, having lost the 2012 final with Horia Tecau (l. to Llodra/Zimonjic). The Swede captured his 17th ATP World Tour title (17-17 finals record).