Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic repeated as Wimbledon men's doubles champions on Saturday with a hard-fought, four-set victory over American rivals Bob and Mike Bryan.
The Toronto native and his partner prevailed by scores of 7-6 (9), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-3. Zimonjic finished off the match with consecutive aces for his second Grand Slam win.
Nestor, 36, now has six Grand Slam doubles titles, the first four coming with previous partner Mark Knowles of Bahamas.
"It was a great feeling to come back to the club and see our names on the plaque," Nestor said. "Nenad is one of the best doubles players on grass. I'm fortunate to be playing with him."
The Bryan brothers have won seven majors, but are now just 1-3 in Wimbledon finals. The siblings won in 2006, against Zimonjic and Fabrice Santoro of France.
The first three sets on Saturday were as tight as could be, with no service breaks through first two stanzas.
The two teams were separated by just three total points (145-142 for Nestor/Zimonjic) but the victors prospered on their serve. Nestor and Zimonjic fired 25 aces, to nine for their opponents.
The turning point came in the third set tiebreaker. Zimonjic hit a lob and then drop shot to give the pair the first point, followed by a Nestor service winner. The pair then both displayed tremendous reflexes at the net for a 3-0 lead. Nestor ripped a service return for a 6-2 advantage, and the pair took the set on the next point.
"It's just huge to play in front of a crowd like this," Zimonjic said. "I was surrounded by great champions starting with my partner as well as the Bryans."
Nestor and Zimonjic broke serve in the second game of the fourth set to create some breathing room. Nestor fought off two break points in the next game, firing consecutive aces to go up 3-0.
With the score 5-3 and trailing love-15, Nestor caught a break when his attempt skidded along the top of the net and fell just inside the sideline.
Zimonjic got over a bit of nerves — he double-faulted twice in the final game — by making his final two serves untouchable.