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Indians at Wimbledon: Paes-Stepanek lose in semi-finals

Last updated on: July 04, 2014 23:25 IST

Indians at Wimbledon: Paes-Stepanek lose in semi-finals

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The Indian challenge at the Wimbledon Championships ended on Friday with veteran Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek losing their men's doubles semi-final to Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock of the United States in straight sets.

The unseeded US-Canadian duo beat the fifth seeds 7-6(7-5), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes to set up title date with top seeds Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States.

In the other semi-final, the Bryan brothers made short work of the 12th seeded French pair of veteran Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut, winning 7-6(7-4), 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 46 minutes.

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Perhaps, playing for three consecutive days took its toll on the 41-year-old Paes and his 35-year-old partner. The aging pair found it difficult against a pair whose cumulative age is 46 compared to their 76.

Having won successive matches in five and four sets respectively, the Indo-Czech duo was found wanting on Friday.

Young Sock was brilliant with his power-packed groundstrokes, to which Paes and Stepanek had no answer.

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Image: Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Indians at Wimbledon: Paes-Stepanek lose in semi-finals

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However, it was Paes and Stepanek who went up by a break in the first set only to lose the advantage as Pospisil and Sock took the set to the tie-breaker.

The young pair was better on the crucial points as they converted four of the eight break-points they forced.

In the second set, the all-important break came in the eighth game when Stepanek was broken.

Paes-Stepanek had 10 break-points but could convert only two.

Whenever a service break loomed large on the Canadian-US pair, it was mainly Sock who came up with a booming serve, while on their opponent's serve, it was Pospisil who hit deep and big forehand returns.

In the third set, Paes-Stepanek were broken early and Pospisil-Sock held on to the break to close out the match in the 10th game off the latter’s serve.


Image: Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic and India's Leander Paes during the doubles match
Photographs: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

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