The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Paes triumphs with Hanley, clinches title No. 34
- Thailand open
- Federer tames Murray to bag 11th crown of the year

Bangkok: On a day when Roger Federer added one more crown to his growing list, Indian doubles ace Leander Paes had his share of glory as well at the Thailand Open.

Paes and Australian partner Paul Hanley captured the doubles title at the $550,000 ATP meet overcoming Israeli pair Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 5-6, 6-1, 6-2.

This was after the world No. 1 had retained his singles crown with a 6-3, 7-5 win over British teenager Andy Murray.

For Paes, this was his 34th career doubles triumph and his first with Hanley. The top-seeded duo had got the better of Mahesh Bhupathi and Justin Gimelstob in the semis on Saturday.

Paes’ regular partner this year has been Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, but the two haven’t yet decided whether they will continue their partnership in 2006.

Back to Federer, who won his 11th title of the year and extended his winning streak in finals to 24.

The Swiss, last beaten in a final in Gstaad in July 2003, has now chalked up 77 wins this season, just one short of his personal best set in 2003.

“In the end I really had to play some good and tough points to get through because he was making me work extremely hard,” said Federer.

Murray, 18, was appearing in his first ATP final, and the Scot’s performance this week will elevate him from 109 in the world rankings to around 80.

“Before Queens or Wimbledon, if somebody had said I was going to be, whatever, in the top 80 in the world in three months I would have said I’d got no chance,” said Murray.

“But I got a lot of self-belief after I won against some really good players at Queens and Wimbledon, and then I went over to the States and played some smaller tournaments and had a lot of confidence and won a couple of them.”

Murray, handed a week wild card into the tournament, double-faulted to lose the second game and also had to fight off two break points at 4-1 before Federer wrapped up the set with a forehand volley.

The second set was more competitive, despite the Scot putting himself under pressure by dropping his first service game.

Murray competed well in the rallies, hit his forehand well and moved smoothly to the ball. He even toyed with Federer at one stage, drawing in him to the net and then executing a lob.

After holding off a break point for 4-1, the Scot’s persistence was rewarded when a hooked forehand from Federer allowed him to level at 3-3.

Murray survived two break points at 4-4, but the top seed did break to lead 6-5 and then held serve to secure the title.

“I think I pushed Federer in the second set,” added Murray. “I thought I had a few chances, and it gives me a lot of confidence knowing I can compete with the best players in the world when I’ve still got so much to work on.”

Federer has now won 31 consecutive matches, and is closing in on the longest winning streak since Thomas Muster compiled 35 straight victories in 1995. Even the all-time record of 46 straight victories, set by Guillermo Vilas in 1977, is within reach.

The Swiss said he was relieved to win in straight sets and praised Murray.

“The young guys, they takes chances you know, and I had the feeling he was getting better on my own serve,” he said.

“I wasn’t hugely surprised he broke me eventually because he really started to hang tough in my service games.”

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