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 January 06, 2002 | 0102 IST
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Tata Open: Paes-Bhupathi enter doubles final

The Indian ace duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi entered the Tata Open doubles final on Saturday night with a hard fought 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 win over Frantisek Cermak and Petr Luxa of the Czech Republic.

Paes and Bhupathi take on the winners of the second semi-final between Byron Black (Zimbabwe) and Fabrice Santoro (France) and the Czech combine of Tomas Cibulee and Ota Fuarek.

The match turned out to be a marathon one with the Indian pair showing brilliance in patches.

The doubles semi-final started on an aggressive note as both the pairs held on to their serves.

Leading 2-1 and Bhupathi serving, the Indian pair was found wanting on scoring big points and almost lost the fifth game.

The hosts conceded two break points on Paes' serve. But they came back strongly as Paes compensated for Bhupathi's failures and stayed well in course for the fight.

After holding on till the 12th, the Indians broke Luxa's serve to win the first set 7-5. In the second, the games went on serve, forcing tiebreak, where Paes-Bhupathi trailed 5-6.

With Paes serving, the rivals ruled supreme and pushed the match to the decider. The decider saw the games going on serve till the 10th. In the next game, Bhupathi mixed up well as the score read 15-30. Paes showed absolute aggression to make stunning volleys to break Ceremak's serve at 15-40 and take a 6-5 lead. The Indian pair lived up to the expectations winning the 12th game and moved into the final.

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