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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday November 14, 2021

 
Herbert and Mahut

Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert locked down their second Nitto ATP Finals title in three years, defeating Ram and Salisbury in straight sets.

Photo Source: Getty

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their second Nitto ATP Finals doubles title on Sunday, and their 20th as a team, defeating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, 6-4, 7-6(0).

Tennis Express

Mahut, 39, was praised by his younger partner – 30 year-old Herbert likened his elder to Benjamin Button and praised his work ethic.

“Nico is becoming a Yoga master. He was one of the guys that had no flexibility at all. Actually he's becoming - his goal is to [be like] Djokovic. He's still on the path. But, yeah, he's kind of Benjamin Button.”


Mahut, who has won five Grand Slam doubles titles with Herbert, including Roland-Garros for the second time this year, says he his motivated to remain at the top of the sport.

“It's everyday work,” he said. “I cannot stop for more than two days, I would say. It's every day have to do gym, stretch, practice. Sometimes it's not easy. I have a family, too. Sometimes I'm tired. But they're still around me, pushing me to, I mean, to do it. If I don't, I know my level will drop. I still want to play. If I keep playing at my age, it's because I still have some big goals and want to be competitive.

“Maybe I need to work maybe harder than before.”

The pair needed to work hard to avenge a heartbreaking loss in group play to Ram and Salisbury. Herbert and Mahut saved two set points in the first set only to squander two match points in the match tiebreak, losing 6-7(7), 6-0, 13-11 to the British-American duo in round-robin play earlier this week.
 
They were the stronger team on Sunday, winning 40 of 41 first-serve points and never facing a break point, but Ram and Salisbury came close to matching their level in the second set. The second-seeded duo forced a tiebreak but lost the final seven points of the contest.

Herbert and Mahut become just the eighth doubles tandem to win multiple Nitto ATP Finals doubles titles, and the first from France to achieve the feat.

 

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