New Delhi: Leander Paes and Purav Raja won their first title together after joining forces as they lifted the Knoxville Challenger trophy with a close win over James Cerretani and John-Patrick Smith.
The top-seeded Indian team battled past the US-Australian combination 7-6(4), 7-6(4) in the final of the $75,000 hard court event, on Sunday night.
It was first title-clash for Paes and Raja after joining forces since August, when they teamed up to compete at ATP 250 Winston-Salem Open.
It was fourth Challenger title of the season for Paes, having won events at Leon and Ilkley with Canadian Adil Sham-asdin and Tallahassee trophy with American Scott Lipsky.
Paes also made a number of semi-finals at ATP 250 level and has not lost a final this season.
Raja before teaming up with Paes had won Bordeaux Challenger with Divij Sharan and also made the final of the ATP 250 Chennai Open with the Delhi left-hander.
Raja said he has learnt a lot during this short partnership with Paes so far.
“It is fun. I have learnt a lot and trying to work on a system which hopefully will make us better in the coming weeks,” Raja said.
It was eighth tournament, including US Open, for the duo in three and a half months since uniting as a team.