x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Youzhny and Stakhovsky's double act prevails to lift trophy

The victory by the Eastern Europeans this week followed their success in Halle and duo put it to the understanding among them.

DUBAI // Mikhail Youzhny and Sergiy Stakhovsky jested and joked last night about who would do the majority of the speaking in the press conference following their 4-6, 6-3, 10-3 win over Jeremy Chardy and Feliciano Lopez in the doubles final. It is this off-court camaraderie, they say, that has led the pair to two titles on the ATP Tour.

The victory by the Eastern Europeans this week followed their success in Halle, Germany last summer and Stakhovsky said the two players share an understanding, which helps on the court. "We understand each other away from the tennis court," said the Ukrainian who was integral during the first-to-10 match tie-break. "We are friends off court and then on the court this helps a lot.

"I hope to play more often, but it depends on Mikhail because his schedule is more tight than mine."

Youzhny, the Russian, added: "We don't get nervous like we do during singles matches. That's very important, how you feel with your partner. We just enjoy our time on court; we don't feel any pressure."

With both players accomplished performers on the singles circuit, Youzhny and Stakhovsky were quick to outline the difference between the two formats and, despite the success, both concede doubles is secondary in their careers.

"Singles for us is a different game altogether," said Youzhny, who lost in this week's singles tournament to Gilles Simon in the first round.

"It is almost like two separate tournaments. Nobody likes to lose, but you understand that doubles comes second after singles. That's why there is not so much pressure and sometimes you just try to practice some part of your game."