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A Look Back at the New Old Guys

December 1, 2012

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Remember a year ago? It seemed like the ’11 offseason was one of the busiest in recent years with doubles teams breaking up and finding new partners. I think all those changes ended up with some entertaining performers, and I actually hope the three that joined are all planning to stick together for ’13.

With that being said, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the new teams for ’12 and how they made out:

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek: These are two of the most exciting players to watch on tour, in my opinion, and played great tennis throughout the year—right out the box, in fact, storming through the Australian Open. Aside from the Aussie, they won two Masters 1000 titles, in Miami and Shanghai. Not bad!

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna: Drama followed these guys off the court all year—and Paes, too—primarily due to this being an Olympics year. No one ended up with any medals at the Summer Games, but Bhupathi and Bopanna had some solid moments on court, with their greatest successes coming at the Masters 1000 level.

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer: I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed about the Rojer-Eric Butorac team breaking up, especially as they were so close to becoming a truly elite team. And I thought it would take Qureshi and Rojer a while to blend, if at all, because I view them primarily as solid players not superstars. However, that’s the thing about doubles: If the parts blend, success can and will be had. The pair won a couple of titles on the year—on grass and clay, demonstrating their versatility.

All in all, those three teams contributed greatly to an exciting year of doubles. It’ll be interesting to see what year two holds—if there is one. Things change quickly in the doubles world!

(Photo: The Associated Press)

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