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Paes, Bhupathi advance in mixed doubles

January 24, 2006 16:19 IST

Indian ace Leander Paes and his French partner Nathalie Dechy quelled a late challenge from Simon Aspelin and Meghann Shaughnessy to move into the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles event at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The Paes-Dechy duo took 91 minutes to down the US-Swede combination 6-3, 7-6(7/4) and make the last eight stage, where they are pitted against the Czech-German pair of Frantisek Cermak and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who beat seventh seeds Andy Ram of Israel and Liezel Huber of South Africa 6-2, 6-3.

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Paes and Dechy found the going rather easy in the first set as they held serve and also broke their opponents once. They compensated for couple of double faults with some awesome winners and needed less than an hour to win the first set.

The Aspelin-Shaughnessy duo, however, were in no mood to retire and they fought neck-and-neck, exchanging couple of breaks in the process as the set went to the wire.

In the tie-breaker, Paes and Dechy displayed impressive composure and eventually bagged the set in just over an hour.

Mahesh Bhupathi and comeback star Martina Hingis also reached the quarter-finals. They beat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman and Lisa Raymond of the United States, the second seeds, 7-5, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (10-7).

They will play Australia's Todd Perry and Rennae Stubbs, the eighth seeds.

Earlier, they had beaten Yeu-Tzuoo Wang of the Chinese Taipei and Na Li of China 6-2, 6-2 in the second round.

The third Indian in the fray, Sania Mirza and her Australian partner Stephen Huss went down 3-6, 3-6 to Bob Bryan and Vera Zvonereva in their first round match.