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Paes-Bhupathi cruise to victory
December 09, 2006 17:31 IST
No matter how deep the rift is, once put together on court Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi pick up the strings with astonishing ease and crack the opponent with their practiced sync.
There were no chest-bumps or a fiery chemistry that made up the earlier days of the Lee-Hesh story, but the duo came out to give a professional performance and advance into the second round of the men's doubles competition at the Asian Games on Saturday.
The defending champions beat Hiu Tung Yu and Wing Luen Wayne Wong of Hong Kong 6-0, 6-4 in the first round at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash complex in Doha.
There was some doubt over whether the two would team up for the event following their loss in the first round of the team event against Chinese Taipei. After losing 6-2, 6-3 to Taiwan, Paes and coach Nandan Bal had questioned Bhupathi's commitment, to trigger another controversy in Indian tennis.
But having put their differences behind, the duo made short work of the Hong Kong pair, blanking them in the first set in 15 minutes.
The top seeds suffered an early set back in the first set, but fought back from 0-3 down to win six of the next seven games.
Bhupathi stamped India's domination over the game, finishing the match with an easy smash down the line after Paes' serve had Wong stretching for the ball.
In the other doubles match, Mustafa Ghouse and Rohan Bopanna crushed Abdul Mohammed and Abdul Shehab of Bahrain 6-2, 6-1 in 45 minutes.
The Indian women also had it easy as Ankita Bhambri and Rushmi Chakravarthy beat Vietnamese duo of Mai Huynh Viet Ha Ngo 6-3, 6-3.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage