The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Max-Mahesh duo in hunt

Houston: India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi of Belarus helped their chances of taking the year-end world No. 1 doubles ranking here on Monday with a round-robin triumph at the ATP Masters Cup.

Second-ranked Bhupathi and Mirnyi beat Australian fifth-rated Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) to go 1-1 in the Blue Group before Wednesday’s key match with unbeaten Daniel Nestor of Canada and Mark Knowles of Bahamas.

Fourth-rated Nestor and Knowles beat eighth-ranked Etlis and Rodriguez 6-2, 6-1 in 57 minutes on Monday in the other Blue Group encounter.

Bhupathi and Mirnyi are the only team here who can deny American twins Mike and Bob Bryan the year-end ATP doubles world No. 1 ranking, that despite losing their opener to Argentina’s Martin Rodriguez and Gaston Etlis.

Bhupathi and Mirnyi moved within 44 points of the Bryans and must at least reach the final to overtake the US duo.

The Bryans, trying to become the first brothers to claim year-end top honors, ended the slim title chances of Knowles and Nestor and Aussie Todd Woodbridge and Swede Jonas Bjorkman with two earlier round-robin triumphs.

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