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Rediff.com  » Sports » Bhupathi-Bopanna, Paes-Stepanek in Aus Open 2nd round

Bhupathi-Bopanna, Paes-Stepanek in Aus Open 2nd round

Last updated on: January 18, 2012 14:26 IST

The all-Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna had to toil for victory, but Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek sailed into the second round of the Australian Open men's doubles in Melbourne on Wednesday.

While Bhupathi-Bopanna fought back from a set down to beat the Australian pair of Matthew Ebden and Chris Guccione 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 43 minutes, the Indo-Czech pair outplayed the Aussie combo of Greg Jones and John-Patrick Smith, winning 6-2, 6-2, in an hour and 13 minutes.

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The fourth seeded Indian duo, which came up with 44 winners against 23 by their opponents, lost the first set due to four unforced errors.

But Bhupathi and Bopanna came back strongly in the second set, relying mostly on a strong first serve.

In the deciding set, they left no margin for error as Ebden and Guccione stumbled.

Meanwhile, Paes and Stepanek hardly broke a sweat in toppling Jones-Smith. They converted five of the nine break-points they earned while their opponents converted just one of three.

Paes, having won the doubles title at the Chennai Open, partnering Serb Janko Tipsarevic, is high on confidence.

The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam that neither he nor Bhupathi has won. They tried to complete the Slam by teaming last season, but the title slipped out of their hands when they lost in the final.

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