Melbourne: Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi remained on course for their maiden Australian Open title together as they advanced to the final of the grand slam tournament with a comprehensive 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over the second seeded combine of Max Mirnyi (Belarus) and Daniel Nestor (Canada) on Thursday.
The ‘Indian Express’ looked totally in command from the word go as they kept their nerve to edge out their rivals in a keenly contested battle.
They will play against top seed American twins and double
defending champions Mike and Bob Bryan in the summit clash.
The Bryan brothers eased past unseeded duo of Eric
Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-3, 6-2 in 54 minutes in their
Paes and Bhupathi decided to rejoin the forces after nine
years to win that elusive Australian Open trophy, at the start
of the season.
They came into Australian Open in a good nick as they
clinched the Chennai Open at home.
Paes has won 12 Grand Slam titles and Bhupathi 11 in
their respective careers but they have never won Australian
Open men`s doubles trophy.
Interestingly, Bhupathi has not won a men`s doubles Grand
Slam title since 2002 US Open with max Mirnyi.
Paes and Bhupathi last played together at a Grand Slam at
Australian Open in 2002 when they reached the second round.
Paes and Bhupathi had to sweat a lot against Mirnyi and
Nestor as both the pairs fought tooth and nail before the
There was hardly anything to separate the two teams as
they broke each other twice in the opening set, which was
decided through a tie-break in the favour of the Indians.
Paes and Bhupathi had their chances to clinch the issue
in straight sets but squandered two breakpoints and dropped
their own serve once to allow their rivals to take the match
to the third set.
They did not repeat the mistake in the deciding set and
converted the first available chance to open up lead and end
on the right side of the result after two hours and 20