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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australia Open: Paes in men's doubles final, mixed semis

Australia Open: Paes in men's doubles final, mixed semis

Last updated on: January 26, 2012 17:03 IST

Leander Paes had a great day at the Australian Open as he reached the final of the men's doubles event pairing Radek Stepanek and also made it to the mixed doubles semifinals with Elena Vesnina in Melbourne on Thursday.

The unseeded Indo-Czech pair of Paes and Stepanek fought brilliantly to come back from a set down to stun second  seeds Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Canadian Daniel Nestor 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a marathon semifinal encounter that lasted two hours and 13 minutes.

Paes and Stepanek will now face top seeded American duo of Bob and Mike Bryan in the summit clash. The Bryan brothers too had to play out of their skin to beat seventh seeds Swede Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in the other last four match.

Contrary to the result, Paes and Stepanek were slow to start of the blocks in their match against Mirnyi and Nestor. 

The Indo-Czech pair looked out of sorts initially and lost their serves twice to hand over the first set 2-6 to their opponents in just 32 minutes.

Paes and Stepanek, however, made a strong comeback in the next set and broke Mirnyi and Nestor once to drew parity. 

But it turned out to be a roller-coaster of a deciding set for Paes and Stepanek as they lost their service once but broke their opponents twice out of the four opportunities to seal a place in the title clash. 

In the mixed doubles category, fifth seeds Paes and Vesnina completely outplayed fourth seeded Rohan Bopanna of India and USA's Lisa Raymond in straight sets. 

Dominating from the word go, Paes and Vesnina hit 22 winners as opposed to 17 by their opponents to wrap up the match 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour. 

In the opening set, the Indo-Russian combo hardly spared an inch to their opponents, while converted two of the six breakpoints they received to win the set comfortably. 

It was the same story in the second set as well, as Paes and Vesnina once again managed to broke their opponents twice out of the four opportunities to seal a semifinal berth.

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