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Paes-Bhupathi in final

August 01, 2004 18:14 IST

India's medal hope at the Athens Olympics, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes advanced to the doubles final at the US $2.5 million ATP Masters tournament in Toronto, Canada.

The eighth seeds upset fourth seeds Mark Knowles of Bahamas and Daniel Nestor of Canada, 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals on Saturday night.

In the process, the Indians extended their winning run to 16 matches, having not lost a match together since April 2002. That stretch includes five ATP matches, five Davis Cup matches and four Asian Games matches.

In the final, they will take on second seeds Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus, who beat third-seeded French pair of Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2) in the other semi-final.

Paes and Bhupathi are teaming after more than two years to prepare for the Olympics, beginning on August 13. The former world No.1 doubles pair had taken the tennis world by storm in 1997, winning their first major title together on the ATP tour at the 1997 Gold Flake Open.

They won 12 titles thereafter leading up to a sensational 1999, which saw them become the first pair since 1952 to reach all four Grand Slam finals and win the Wimbledon and French Open.

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