ATP Paris: Kontinen/Peers defeat Herbert/Mahut to claim first Masters title

Henri Kontinen and John Peers claimed their fourth title of the year and first Masters title after they defeated home favorites Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nico Mahut in three sets.

ATP Paris: Kontinen/Peers defeat Herbert/Mahut to claim first Masters title
John Peers and Henri Kontinen pose with the winners trophy (Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Kontinen/Peers
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Herbert/Mahut

In the final of the BNP Paribas Masters, Henri Kontinen, and John Peers who have yet to drop a set faced off against world number one pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. It was the unseeded pair who came through the match 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 to win their first ever Masters 1000 title. 

Lone break goes the way of Kontinen and Peers

Both players started off the match with a comfortable hold of serve. However, the third game came alive. A volley into the net presented the Fin, Aussie pair with double break point chances. The French duo saved one of the breaks but a double fault from Herbert handed the unseeded pair the first break of the match. Kontinen and Peers held serve and consolidated for 3-1. Just two games later, the world number one duo brought up a break back point which was then easily saved as Kontinen and Peers held to stay infront at 4-2.

Henri Kontinen and John Peers return the ball to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nico Mahut (Photo: Miguel Medina/Getty Images)
Henri Kontinen and John Peers return the ball to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nico Mahut (Photo: Miguel Medina/Getty Images)

In the eighth game, back-to-back double faults from the Kontinen racket gave the French pair a love-30 lead.  An ace followed by an overhead smash brought the game back level at 30-all before to consecutive aces made it 5-3. The Finnish and Aussie pair continued to carve out opportunities and put the home favorites under pressure and after an aggressive return, Peers set up a deciding point. Herbert's big first serve then led to an easy put away smash by Mahut as they held serve. Peers and Kontinen held serve to love as they claimed the first set 6-4. 

Herbert/Mahut battle back to set up deciding tiebreaker

Back-to-back double faults by Herbert gave Kontinen and Peers a break point. However, he won the point, took the game to a deciding point and won the point with a volley to avoid going further behind on the scoreboard. On the other hand, Kontinen held his serve pretty comfortably. The French pair were looked more positive and energetic in this second set as they tried to force their way into the match. In the sixth game, Herbert put away a volley to bring up a deciding/break point.

A volley smash in the next game gave the break to the French pair. The 34-year-old Mahut held his serve to love to take a 5-2 lead as they edged ever closer to taking this match into a final set breaker. Kontinen put a volley away at the net on the deciding point to put pressure on the world number one team as they served for the set. A big first serve from the Herbert serve brought up double set points. He finished the set off with a timely ace to level the match at one set apiece, 3-6. 

Kontinen and Peers win the deciding set breaker, claims first Masters title 

Peers and Kontinen grabbed the sets first mini break after Peers return caught the edge of the court for 2-0. However, in the sixth point, Kontinen failed to put away a volley fired at him by Herbert and the breaker was level at 3-3. Although they let the French duo back into the set, Peers and Kontinen then went on to win the next five points to take an 8-4 lead.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nico Mahut congratulate Henri Kontinen and John Pewers (Photo: Miguel Medina/Getty Images)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nico Mahut congratulate Henri Kontinen and John Peers (Photo: Miguel Medina/Getty Images)

Herbert and Mahut held their serve to cut the deficit to two points, but an ace from Kontinen brought up their first match points. Mahut managed to save two match points before Peers settled any nerves and clinched the Paris title, their first ever Masters title since coming together as a team. They recently finished as runners-up to Americans John Isner and Jack Sock at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. This was the pairs fourth title of the year and first since the German Open Tennis Championships in Hamburg in July.