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Paes-Damm win US Open men's doubles

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September 10, 2006 07:17 IST

Leander Paes and Martin Damm crowned their first year as a pair on Saturday as they beat second seeds Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 to win the men's doubles title at the US Open.

The Indian-Czech pair, seeded sixth, were a break down in the second set but recovered to win in two hours, 35 minutes.

Bjorkman and Mirnyi, who lost to American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan in the final 12 months ago, looked on course for victory when they took the opening set on a tiebreak and broke in the first game of the second.

But Paes and Damm, beaten finalists at the Australian Open and who saved five match points in their semi-final win, roared back to clinch victory.

Paes said communication had been the key to his success with Damm.

"I don't think there are enough words to express how much fun and how much learning I've actually had playing with Martin, because we're actually opposites on the court," Paes said.

"Martin is strong and plays more solid. I'm more flashy and a bit more quick. We really complement each other.

"It's been a fantastic year playing with him. I've really enjoyed it. I'd like to thank him for a wonderful year."

The victory gave Damm his first Grand Slam title, while for Paes it was his fourth men's doubles crown and seventh in all.

Paes lost the doubles final at the US Open in 1999 pairing with Mahesh Bhupathi. Before Saturday's final he already had three Grand Slam men's doubles titles, two French Open (1999 and 2001) and one Wimbledon (1999) -- all pairing with Bhupathi. He lost two Australian Open finals, teaming with Bhupathi (1999) and Martin Damm (2006).

He has three mixed doubles titles -- two at Wimbledon, pairing with Martina Navaratilova (2003) and Lisa Raymond of the United States (1999), and one at the Australian Open, pairing with Martina Navaratilova (2003).