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Paes-Rikl cause major upset

Last updated on: September 06, 2004 15:22 IST

Leander Paes and David Rikl staged a fine comeback to defeat the world's top doubles pairing and defending champions Todd Woodbridge and Jonas Bjorkman in the pre-quarter-finals of the men's doubles at the US Open.

Paes and Rikl, seeded 13, snuffed out the challenge of the number one seeds in three tough sets, winning 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Woodbridge, who holds the record for most doubles titles won, and Bjorkman looked all set to cruise to victory in New York when they took a one-set lead over Paes and Rikl on court number 10.

Leander Paes and David RiklPaes and Rikl, however, had other ideas, and at 5-5 in the second, broke Woodbridge and then served out to draw level at one set all.

The third set was a cliff-hanger as well. Both sides exchanged breaks early on and were tied at four games apiece. The vital break came in the ninth game of the deciding set and this time it was Bjorkman who suffered.

Paes managed to hold his nerve and served out the match to knock the Wimbledon champs out of the competition.

The exit of the top seeds came less than 24 hours after number two seeds Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States were defeated by the unseeded pair of Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

This latest upset left third seeds Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor as the highest-ranked pairing in the quarterfinal draw.


Eight seeds Leander Paes of India and Martina Navratilova of the United States cruised to the third round of the mixed doubles with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over Martin Damm of the Czech Republic and Belgium's Els Callens on Sunday.

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Paes and Navratilova had beaten Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas 6-1, 7-6 in the first round

They will now take on Russian glamour girl Maria Sharapova and Max Mirnyi of Belarus for the place in the last eight on Monday.

Mahesh Bhupathi, however, went down in the second round of the mixed doubles

Seeded third, Bhupathi and partner Lisa Raymond of the United States, went down fighting 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3) to the Australian pair of Alicia Molik and Todd Woodbridge.

Bhupathi and Mirnyi will feature in the men's doubles third round match on Monday against Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo.

The fourth seeds reached the pre-quarter-finals without any effort after they got a walkover in the second round when their opponents, Rainer Schuettler of Germany and Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, did not turn up for the match.

In the junior boys' singles, India's Divij Sharan bowed out in the first round to Scoville Jenkins of the United States.

The unseeded Indian failed to make an impression, losing in straight sets, 4-6, 1-6 to the 10th seed. Sportsdesk