Canadian Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi lost their bid for a second straight ATP title on Sunday as the second seeds went down 7-6 (10), 6-3 to the No. 1 pair of Bob and Mike Bryan in the final of the Erste Bank Open.
But after a first set where the Nestor team saved two set points and missed on three of their own, the Canadian's side faded away in the second set of the 74-minute match with their longtime American rivals.
"We played well in the first set, but didn't take our chances like we should have," said Nestor. "It's too bad, since we felt we had gotten on a roll over the last few weeks.
"Today we fell a bit short but hopefully we will get another chance. The brothers are the best team in the world and they showed us why."
The 39-year-old Toronto native was bidding for a third Vienna trophy, each with a different partner. The Canadian won in 2003 with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and lifted the honours a year ago with Serb Nenad Zinmonjic.
Nestor and Mirnyi came to Vienna after winning the Shanghai Masters this month and liked their chances of backing up that victory.
"We had worked out some kinks from the start of the season and I felt we had a chance," said Nestor. "But those guys came out strong and overpowered us."
The opening set went to a tiebreaker, and finally ended after 45 minutes with Nestor and Mirnyi facing an uphill climb to catch up.
But their Californian opponents had different plans, breaking early in the second set and running away with the win.
Mirnyi-Nestor were hoping for a fourth title of the season but now stand 3-2 in 2011 finals.
In addition to Shanghai, they won the title in Memphis and the French Open.
Nestor now stands 74-48 in lifetime finals.