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Paes and Czech-mates a winning combo

September 11, 2013 07:51 IST

Paes and Czech-mates a winning combo

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It 'Paes' to form a doubles partnership with Czech players!

Pun apart, the above actually holds true in case of the Indian tennis star.

Leander Paes, in his career spanning more than two decades, has teamed up with more than 90 players.

But it is his partnership with players from the Czech Republic that has yielded him the most major titles, even more than his otherwise fruitful partnership with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.

Five of Paes's eight men's doubles titles in Grand Slams have come when he had a Czech playing alongside. For that matter, 10 of the Indian's 16 major (men's doubles) finals were when he partnered a player from that East European country.

The US Open triumph is the most recent addition to the list.

Paes, partnering Radek Stepanek, scored a dominating 6-1, 6-3 victory over Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares to win his third title at Flushing Meadows.

The pair finished second best to the Bryans last year, and avenged that loss in the semi-finals this year.

Stepanek had also helped Paes win that elusive Australian Open crown - after three final defeats - last year.

The India ace was quick to express his gratitude towards his Czech partners following the latest triumph.

'Find someone from the Czech Republic; that's my advise to anyone who is looking for a doubles partner. They are hard-working guys,' said Paes, as he thanked Stepanek for his contribution.

As Paes celebrates his latest triumph, we take a look at his other 'Czech' partners, with whom he had significant results.


Image: Leander Paes (right) and Radek Stepanek pose with the US Open trophy after winning the men's doubles final against Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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Paes and Dlouhy won two majors in 2009

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Lukas Dlouhy's name may not ring a bell to many now, but towards the end of the last decade he was Paes's regular partner.

The pair reached 11 finals, winning four. Two of those wins were major titles, both coming in 2009.

Paes and Dlouhy bested the Belgian-South African combine of Dick Norman and Wesley Moodie to win the French Open, and followed it up by winning the US Open a few months later, when they beat the Indo-Bahamas combine of Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles.

The duo also reached two other major finals, losing to the Bryans at the 2008 US Open and the Serbian-Canadian pair of Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor in the 2010 French Open.


Image: Leander Paes (left) and Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic pose with the French Open trophy
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
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Paes and Damm won the 2006 US Open

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Paes and Martin Damm played in eight finals between 2005 and 2007, winning four of them.

The most significant of their victories was at the US Open in 2006, when the duo bested the potent combination of Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus in a tense three-setter.

The duo also finished second best to the Bryans at the Australian Open that year.


Image: Martin Damm of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes (left) pose with their US Open trophy
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Rikl was Paes' first regular partner since Bhupathi

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David Rikl was Paes's first regular partner after the Indian's much-publicised break-up with Mahesh Bhupathi.

The pair reached six finals, and won four of them.

However, their most significant final, the 2004 US Open, ended in disappointment.

Paes and Rikl lost that match in straight sets to Daniel Nestor and Mark Knowles.


Image: David Rikl of the Czech Republic
Photographs: Getty Images

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Paes won two majors with Navratilova

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The list of Paes's famous Czech partners will be incomplete without mention of Martina Navratilova.

The legendary Czech-born American joined hands with the Indian ace to win the mixed doubles title at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2003.

In 2004, the pair finished runners-up in both, the Australian Open and French Open.


Image: Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova with the Wimbledon trophy
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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