Double treat for Malisse at Chennai Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Belgian Xavier Malisse made a dream start to his season with a grand double at the ATP Chennai Open.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Belgian Xavier Malisse made a dream start to his season with a grand double at the ATP Chennai Open. He secured the doubles title with compatriot Dick Norman, prevailing over the wildcard Spanish duo of Rafael Nadal and Bartolome Salva-Vidal 7-6(4) 7-6(4) in Chennai on Sunday. Playing about half an hour after winning the singles title over unseeded Austrian Stefan Koubek 6-1 6-3, Malisse, partnering Norman for the first time, dashed the title hopes of Nadal for the second time in the tournament. The Belgian had defeated the world number two in the singles semifinals on Saturday. The doubles crown was the third in Malisse's career, and the first for Norman. Malisse became the first player in the history of the event to secure the singles and doubles titles in the same edition. Varied performances The Belgian pair, trailing 5-6 in the second set, saved two set points to force a tie-break, where they came from behind and clinched the set and the match. Wiping out a 2-4 deficit, they bought out their best to win five points in a row. Vidal double faulted at 4-4 and Malisse produced a superb crosscourt winner, before Norman served out to win the tie break and the title. In the first set, the Spanish duo was happy to charge in at the opportune time, while Malisse and Norman showed some urgency, attacking from the net on a few occasions for some success. Nadal, winner of the doubles title here in 2004, did not disappoint the supportive crowd that had thronged to see him in action, showing alacrity in finishing points with smashes from the net. However, Vidal, who turned pro only last year, was inconsistent.

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  • Xavier Malisse
  • Tennis

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