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Paes avenges Olympic defeat

Last updated on: September 03, 2004 14:42 IST

Leander Paes avenged his Olympic bronze medal play-off defeat in style as he teamed up with David Rikl of the Czech Republic to humble Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in straight sets in the opening round of the US Open men's doubles in New York on Thursday.

The 13th seed pair of Paes and Rikl had no problems clearing the opening hurdle against the Croatians, coasting to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Ancic and Ljubicic had won a marathon four-hour battle against the Indian pair of Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in Athens last month to shatter the hopes of over one billion countrymen.

Paes and Rikl will now face the Swiss-German pair of Yves Allegro and Michael Kohlmann in the second round.

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Allegro and Kohlmann had to work hard to overcome the challenge of Hicham Arazi of Morroco and Tom Vandoudt of Belarus, prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

In the mixed doubles, Paes and Martina Navratilova of the United States, seeded eighth, defeated the pair of Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Mark Knowles of Bahamas 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) to move into the second round.

They will now meet the winner of the match between Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela/Mariano Hood of Argentina and Paula Suarez of Argentina/Hicham Arazi of Morroco.

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