India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek advanced to the U S Open men's doubles semi-finals after a hard-fought victory in the last-eight stage, in New York, on Tuesday.
In a match that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours, the fourth-seeded Indo-Czech pair defeated the fifth seeded combination of Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4.
The duo will next face top-seeded American brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, who got the better of the 12th-seeded British pair of Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray 7-6(7), 6-4 in their quarter-final.
Paes-Stepanek started off well and broke their opponents twice, while holding serve, to clinch the opening set in just 33 minutes.
But they were stretched quite a bit in the remaining two sets which lasted almost an hour each.
In the second set, neither of the teams conceded a break-point. Even though Qureshi-Rojer committed three double-faults they fought hard enough to restore parity and keep themselves in the match.
The third set was also closely-contested, but Paes-Stepanek converted an all-important break-point, as Qureshi-Rojer frittered away the only one they got, to emerge triumphant.
Image: Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek
Photograph: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images