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Paes-Bhupathi advance as Indo-Pak Express exits

first_imgLeander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi moved into the quarterfinals but the Indo-Pak Express, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, crashed out of the men’s doubles event in the Australian Open on Monday.Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi during their match against Tommy Robredo and Marcel Granollers at the Australian Open on Monday. APPaes and Bhupathi, who teamed up after nine years in a bid to add the only Grand Slam title – the Australian Open – missing from their cupboard, scored a fighting three-set win over 13th seeds Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in an engrossing third-round clash that lasted an hour and 52 minutes. Things, however, did not fall in place for Bopanna and Qureshi as the Indo-Pak Express went down fighting to France’s Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-3, 6-7, 6-7 in another tough third-round match which spanned over two hours. The third seeded pair of Paes and Bhupathi started the match positively as they pocketed the first set in just 33 minutes. But Granollers and Robredo made a strong comeback to take the encounter into a decider which the Indians won after a 42- minute battle.The highlight of Paes and Bhupathi’s performance was their 100 per cent break point conversion. The Indian pair made use of the two opportunities that came their way while their opponents could only convert two out of the four chances they earned. Paes and Bhupathi, however, will have to get their acts together in the quarter-finals and avoid committing unforced errors, which they did 18 times on Monday as against their rival’s eight.advertisementIn the quarter-finals, Paes and Bhupathi will play Llodra and Zimonjic, who held their nerves to outplay the Bopanna-Qureshi pair. Against Llodra and Zimonjic, Bopanna and Qureshi, seeded 10th, got off to a great start registering the first set in their favour with a comfortable 6-3 scoreline. But the Indo-Pak duo faced stiff resistance from Llodra and Zimonjic in the next two sets. Both pairs fought hard and hardly gave an inch to the other. They matched each other in all departments of the game to stretch the second as well as the third set to tie-breakers. While the second set went on for almost an hour, the final set saw a 50-minute battle. In both tie-breakers, Bopanna and Qureshi failed to finish it off, even as Llodra and Zimonjic managed to earn crucial points to seal the affair with a 6-7 (6-8) and 6-7 (3-7) scoreline.In another match, No. 5 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland, defeated Colin Ebelthite and Adam Feeney of Australia, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. American Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles beat Spaniards David Marrero and Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-3, 6-4.- With agency inputslast_img

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