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Stark makes finals

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- The Lipton Championships has been a successful tennis tournament for Medford native Jonathan Stark in recent years.

On Friday, Stark advanced into the doubles finals of the Mercedes Super 9 event for the second time in his career.

The No. 9-seeded Stark and Alex O'Brien, of Amarillo, Texas, defeated No. 12 Mark Knowles, of the Bahamas, and Daniel Nestor, of Canada, 6-3, 6-4.

It's the first finals of the year for Stark and O'Brien, who have only played together in doubles eight times in their career.

Stark's opponents in today's finals are No. 8-seeded Rick Leach and Ellis Ferreira. The doubles championship, which has a purse of $145,000 for the winning team, will be played following the women's singles championship.

Stark reached the doubles final of the Lipton with Patrick McEnroe in 1993, then made it into the semifinals with Bryon Black the following two years.

In four victories en route to the finals this year, Stark and O'Brien have lost only one set. The pair seem to complement one another, with Stark providing an explosive serve and O'Brien excelling on serve returns.