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Rediff.com  » Sports » Paes, Sania-Bhupathi in last four at Aus Open

Paes, Sania-Bhupathi in last four at Aus Open

Last updated on: January 25, 2012 18:58 IST

Leander Paes had a productive day at the Australian Open, entering the men's doubles semi-finals with Radek Stepanek, and the mixed doubles quarter-finals with Elena Vesnina, in Melbourne, on Wednesday.

However, it was a day of mixed fortunes for Sania MIrza. She and Mahesh Bhupathi entered the mixed doubles semi-finals, beating Liezel Huber of the United States and Colin Fleming of Great Britain 7-6, 6-2.

But it was curtains for the Indian in the women's doubles, as she and Russia's Vesnina suffered a 6-7, 6-2, 4-6 loss at the hands of the unseeded Russian duo of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva.

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The unseeded Indo-Czech pair of Paes and Stepanek scored a 6-4, 7-6 win over 10th seeds Eric Butorac of the United States and Brazil's Bruno Soares in an hour and 39 minutes.

Paes and Stepanek looked more comfortable than their fancied opponents in the opening set as they held serve easily and converted the only break point they earned.

The American-Brazilian duo, though, came up with a better show in the second set, putting pressure on their opponents' serve.

After both pairs exchanged breaks, the set moved into a tie-breaker. Paes and Stepanek did well to take a 3-0 lead and then held their nerves to win it 7-4.

They will next take on the second seeded Belarus pair of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor of Canada for a place in the final.

Paes and his Russian partner Vesnina, meanwhile, downed unseeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Marcin Matkowski of Poland 6-3, 7-5 in just over an hour.

Paes-Vesnina converted four of the six break-points they got to wrap the first set comfortably.

In the second, Hsieh and Matkowski came back strongly, but Paes and Vesnina saved as many as five break-points, apart from converting three of six they had received, to get the better of their opponents.

They will meet Rohan Bopanna and American Lisa Raymond in the last eight.

Meanwhile, Sania and Vesnina's women's doubles campaign came to an end after a hard-fought match that lasted two hours and 33 minutes.

The sixth seeded Indo-Russian pair lost out on account of unforced errors.

Sania and Vesnina made as many as 51 unforced errors against just 24 by their Russian opponents. And even a massive 47 winners in contrast to 29 by Kuznetsova and Zvonareva could not save them.

In the junior competition, Rutuja Bhosale and her Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi rallied to beat Irina Maria Bara of Romania and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 5-7, 6-1, 10-7 to advance into the girls' doubles semi-finals.

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