John Peers and Filip Polasek survived a relentless battle in the second set to beat Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev 6-3, 7-6 (5) to win the BNP Paribas Open doubles title on Saturday night. The Australian and Slovak failed to convert two match points on Rublev's serve at 5-3 and then gave up their serve as they tried to close out the match.
Both pairs traded breaks before reaching the tiebreaker, in which Peers and Polasek rallied 3/5 to take the title. "It's always fun to go back to the desert and race here," Peers said. "Being able to say that we have won this title is very special.
We started with some doubts as a couple but we have done a good job since before the US Open. It has been fun and we have continued to work and enjoy together. We are well coordinated as a doubles pair and will try to achieve results like this more often.
We want to continue playing together." Peers (33) and Polasek (36) maintained their recent great form, having reached the final of the San Diego Open before competing at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Peers conquers his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title (his first since Canada 2018) and his 25th career title.
Polasek adds his 16th title and the second Masters 1000 (Cincinnati 2019). "I'm very happy with the way we've played," Polasek said. "We came in advance and that helped us adapt to the conditions."
Toni Nadal, Rafael Nadal's uncle and ex-coach, recently spoke at length about his nephew, the Big 3, the Next Gen and tennis in general on a Spanish podcast. And in one section of the interview, Toni tried to explain why Novak Djokovic isn't as popular among the fans as his two big rivals.
Toni Nadal comments on Djokovic
Toni Nadal first pointed out that Novak Djokovic burst onto the scene when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had already cemented their respective fanbases with their contrasting styles of play.
"It hurt him to finally arrive on the circuit when there was already a very strong rivalry between Roger and Rafa," Toni said. "Federer and Nadal, they were two opposing styles, two different trajectories, and that made the fans very excited.
It was therefore difficult to find a place at that time." However, the Spanish coach also believes that Novak Djokovic's ego and on-court attitude contributed to his relative lack of love from the public. "After that, I also think Novak's ego has hurt him," Toni said.
"Especially when it comes to having certain behaviors on the court that are incompatible with being number one. With Roger everything was always easier because since 2006 we focused on starting almost all the points playing a high and strong ball to his backhand," Toni said. "Djokovic has always been much more complex, we did not know how to read his game."