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Max Mirnyi Belarusian Tennis Star & Olympian Celebrates New York Homecoming With Title Win

Cheer us on during this one special final! #nyopen #final #atpworldtour #maxmirnyi – Photo by @maxmirnyi via Instagram.



Max Mirnyi’s pro dreams are rooted in New York.


Today, Mirnyi mastered rush-hour final stress in a magical homecoming.


The 40-year-old Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald defeated Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak 4-6, 6-4, 10-6, winning the inaugural New York Open doubles title with their third-straight tiebreak triumph.


Contesting a third final in their last five tournaments, Mirnyi and Oswald won their second championship together following their title run at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last October.


Showing scrappy resolve, they rallied past French Open doubles champion Ryan Harrison and partner Steve Johnson, 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 in the semifinals and powered through the third-set breaker in today’s final on the black courts.


Presenting the 2018 New York Open doubles champions @maxmirnyi + @pistol_ossi and your runners up @wesleykoolhof + @artemsitak – Photo by @nyopentennis via Instagram.

“I’m thrilled that we got through a couple of tough matches,” Mirnyi said. “I felt like the match yesterday, we kind of got lucky toward the end. They (Harrison and Johnson) were a better team than us. Today was maybe 50-50, and it was definitely some magic for us in New York. I’m thrilled about that.”


Mirnyi has a long and loving history with New York.


The Beast of Belarus’ all-court attack was born in Brooklyn.


In 1991, When Mirnyi was 13 his father Nikolai, a former volleyball player with big dreams for his son, sent Max from Belarus to Brooklyn.


Back then the gangly teenager was still hitting a two-handed backhand, but on Brooklyn courts he banged out the swing for the one-hander that would become one of his most versatile weapons. Mirnyi moved from Brooklyn to Bradenton, Florida where he honed his serve-and-volley skills at the Nick Bollettieri Academy.


“Well, if I may start, it’s very exciting for me to be back to New York,” Mirnyi said. “I have a lot of history in New York, and for this event, a tour level event to be in New York, is very special, even with its new surroundings being on Long Island. I am not very familiar with the area, but I still have so many friends [here], so many people that I have known over the years. And just the overall feeling of waking up and getting a New York bagel, I think brings back so many great memories for me.”


Photo by @belarustennis via Instagram.

Eighteen years ago, Mirnyi partnered Lleyton Hewitt to win the 2000 US Open doubles crown. In 2002, Mirnyi and Mahesh Bhupathi captured Flushing Meadows before thousands of locals, including some of the hackers who remembered The Beast from his Brooklyn days.


It’s been a glorious week for classic champions celebrating all-court tennis.


In Rotterdam, 36-year-old Roger Federer swept Grigor Dimitrov to claim his 97th career title. Federer surpassed Rafael Nadal regaining the top spot to become the oldest-ever world No. 1 in ATP history the same week the 40-year-old Mirnyi regained glory in New York.


Mirnyi and Oswald won New York and Federer ruled Rotterdam nearly 16 years to the day after Federer and Mirnyi partnered to win the 2002 Rotterdam doubles title.


Their shared success reinforces the philosophy Pancho Gonzalez, another champion who took advancing age on the rise, put forth: you play this game moving forward.


For now, Mirnyi and Federer, former doubles partners with a shared love for creative attack, show no signs of slowing down.


“For moments like this, you know, you always ask yourself a question, whether you’re good enough or not, and obviously if you know that you are getting beaten more often than winning, this is the time to probably walk away, but I have a very strong partner,” Mirnyi said. “We’re good friends off the court and we manage to be winning more than losing in the last, probably, six months that we’ve been playing.


“It’s [today’s win] a good reason to stick around. I enjoy the lifestyle, I enjoy training, I’m a pretty fit guy, naturally, thanks to my parents’ genes, and I’m not sure how much left there is for me, but I am enjoying every moment of it.”


Remarks From Max Mirnyi:


Presenting the 2018 New York Open doubles champions @maxmirnyi + @pistol_ossi and your runners up @wesleykoolhof + @artemsitak – Photo by @nyopentennis via Instagram.

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