|June 21, 1999||
Paes takes No. 1 doubles ranking
India's Leander Paes and The Netherlands's Jan Siemerink shared the doubles title with Ellis Ferreira and David Rikl at the Heineken Open in sHertogenbosch, Netherlands.
The final match was delayed due to heavy rain and Leander/Siemerink had to rush to catch their helicopter for Wimbledon, which starts today.
This title was Paes's 15th ATP doubles title (excluding Challengers) and 16th title including singles.
The four players share about $54,000, the total prize-money for the title and runners-up pooled together, giving them each about $14,000. However, they won't get any more points apart from that gained for reaching the final. That was the procedure last year at Queen's Club, when the Woodies and Bjorkman/Rafter shared the title.
Earlier, Paes and Siemerink had defeated the top seed pair of Paul Haarhuis and Daniel Nestor, 6-4, 7-6(3), to reach the final.
Paes thus became the world No 1 in doubles - edging ahead of teamamate Mahesh Bhupathi - only the sixth player (from only the third team) in five years to capture the top slot.
Paes and Siemerink got 189 points from the tournament (66 bonus points for beating three very good teams). Thus, Paes now have 4019 points - the first time that either Paes or Bhupathi have crossed the coveted 4000 points barrier though they have both been above the 3900 mark a few times.
Meanwhile, Wimblendon action starts today with Paes playing his first round match against Brazilian qualifier Andre Sa.
Sa, 22, is currently ranked 171 on the ATP listing. He was ranked as high as 110 in singles last May. Sa, though a Brazilian, is not a big claycourter, but is good on hardcourts (the Vietname Challenger was on hardcourt). On grass, he played a Challenger, Queens and Wimbledon last year, and lost in the first round each time.
Again, he lost at the UK grass Challenger two weeks back (to Justin Gimelstob), but beat three players, including a very good grass player, Alex O'Brien, in the qualifiers last week to get into Wimbledon.
Paes has played Sa only once before and lost in straight sets, at the Vietnam Challenger in March '98.
Mail Sports Editor
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