Max Mirny returns to the top

Belarus boasts two world #1 tennis players: Victoria Azarenko and Max Mirny. Victoria has held her first seed position for several weeks now, and recently played brilliantly at a tournament in Madrid

By Ivan Rafalsky

Meanwhile, Max, who partners Daniel Nestor of Canada, has returned to first ranking in the men’s doubles. Max’s first seed rating has been largely helped by the Madrid tournament being delayed by one week (negating the points earned by Bob and Mike Bryan at the event in 2011). The American brothers led for 90 weeks and are the closest rivals to Max and Daniel, having 8,610 points (compared to 9,060 by the Belarusian-Canadian duo).

Prior to the tournament, Daniel Nestor had been ranked first seed for 116th weeks; for Mirny, it was his 40th week. Previously, Mirny partnered Swedish Jonas Bjorkman, winning many titles. However, on parting ways, many incorrectly forecast the decline of his tennis career.

“Frankly, I didn’t think about how the delay would affect the points for a new rating,” muses Mr. Mirny. “However, I don’t think it’s pure luck. Our new status is the result of successful play and hard training. To top the world ratings is a great honour, of which a professional can only dream. I’m proud to neighbour other great doubles tennis players.”

Victoria Azarenko is also taking the lead. Even her defeat in the finals of the tournament in Madrid by Serena Williams couldn’t shake her from her throne. Her major rivals have already completed their games, leaving the Belarusian with a brilliant chance to ‘slip through’ on her least favourite court surface, keeping her rating as first seed.

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