Indian Wells, USA, 17 October 2021 | Leigh Rogers

John Peers has won his biggest doubles title in three years.

The 33-year-old Australian combined with Slovak Filip Polasek to claim the Indian Wells crown, defeating Russian combination Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev 6-3 7-6(5) in the championship match today.

The seventh seeds dominated the 89-minute match early. Not even an injury scare for 36-year-old Polasek, who had an injury time-out for an ankle concern early in the second set, could derail their momentum as they raced ahead 6-3 5-3.

But Rublev and Karatsev fought back, saving championship points in the ninth game and then broke Peers’ serve at 5-4.

After breaking Karatev’s serve in the next game, Peers and Polasek had a second chance to serve for the title. But again, Rublev and Karatsev found away to keep their hopes alive.

However, Peers and Polasek’s doubles nous proved pivotal in a second-set tiebreak, holding their nerve to recover from a 3-5 deficit and secure a first team title.

It is Peers and Polasek’s fourth consecutive straight-sets victory and their 13th win from their past 16 matches.

“We’re starting to get on a little bit of a run and I’m really enjoying it,” Peers said of their partnership.

Peers becomes the seventh Australian to claim an Indian Wells men’s doubles title – and the first in 22 years.

Australian men’s doubles champions at Indian Wells
Year Champions
1976 Colin Dibley (AUS)/Sandy Mayer (USA)
1992 David Macpherson (AUS)/Steve DeVries (USA)
1996 Todd Woodbridge (AUS)/Mark Woodforde (AUS)
1998 Pat Rafter (AUS)/Jonas Bjorkman (SWE)
1999 Sandon Stolle (AUS)/Wayne Black (ZIM)
2021 John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK)

It is Peers’ 25th career ATP Tour doubles title in total – and fourth at ATP Masters 1000 level.

The Perth-based Peers now owns a 4-1 win-loss record in ATP Masters 1000 finals and this marks his first title won at this level since August 2018.

Currently ranked world No.23, Peers is projected to return to the world’s top 20 following this title-winning run.

The victory also keeps Peers and Polasek, who teamed up for the first time in August, in contention to earn a coveted spot at the ATP Finals. Their performance in the Californian desert propels them into 10th place in the race to earn one of eight places in the season-ending championships.

Aussies in action – Indian Wells

Men’s doubles, final
[7] John Peers (AUS)
/Filip Polasek (SVK) d Aslan Karatsev (RUS)/Andrey Rublev (RUS) 6-3 7-6(5)