Lopez-Monaco pair accuses Paes of provocation

Updated: Jan 22, 2011, 14:38 PM IST

Melbourne: Indian duo of Leander Paes and
Mahesh Bhupathi were engaged in a verbal confrontation with
their rivals Juan Monaco of Argentina and Spain`s Feliciano
Lopez during the second round men`s doubles match of the
Australian Open here on Saturday.

Just after the end of the second round men`s doubles
encounter, Lopez accused Paes of trying to provoke him and his
partner during the match that the "Indian Express" duo won 7-6
(2), 6-4 to enter into the third round of the Grand Slam.

The match officials then had to step in to calm down the
players who started remonstrating on court.

The television footage showed that the four players
gathered at the net, arguing and signalling with their hands.

"We were playing, match was quiet and one of the players
(Paes), he was trying to provoke us all the time," said Lopez.

"I know it`s the style he been using the past 20 years.
But that`s OK. Nothing else," he added.

Lopez also said that there was a time during that match
when he and his Argentine partner got irritated with the way
(Paes) was trying to unsettle them.

"At one point, we were a little bit tired of the style he
was using on the court and that`s all what happened ... We
don`t want to make a big story about something that happened."

However, Lopez later claimed that there was no lingering

On the other hand, tournament officials refused to
instantly comment on the issue.