US Open: Paes–Stepanek stun Bryan brothers to enter finals
Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
New York: Ace Indian tennis star Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek advanced to the US Open men`s doubles` finals after they stunned the legendary Bryan brothers in the semifinals on Thursday.
Paes and Stepanek won the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. After losing the first set 3-6, Paes and Stepanek bounced back and won the second set 6-3.
In the decider, Paes and Stepanek enjoyed their game and were seen celebrating several points in their unique way.
Paes/Stepanek were leading 5-1 in the third and the final set after which the 35-year-old identical twins from California bounced back and won three consecutive games and took the score to 5-4. In the tenth game of the final set, Stepanek’s pin-point serve proved to be effective as he sealed the game 6-4.
In the quarterfinal, the fourth-seeded Indo-Czech pair defeated the fifth seeded combination of Pakistan`s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer 6-1 6-7 (3) 6-4 in a match which went for more than two and a half hours.
The loss also shattered Bryan brothers’ hope of becoming the first team since 1951 to sweep all four Grand Slam tournaments in men`s doubles in a single year. The Bryans had won four straight Grand Slams, beginning with last year`s US Open.
Post the match, Paes hailed the Bryan brothers despite their loss.
"I have great respect for the Bryan boys. They are great ambassadors for US tennis," he said.
At the same time, the 40-year-old lauded his partner Stepanek, who underwent surgery earlier this year.
"But I have a great partner in Radek. He had spinal surgery this year and has fought his way back after a tough year. So when we play together we feel anything is possible."
Paes- Stepanek, the winners of 2012 Australian Open, will now face either Croatian Ivan Dodig and Brazil's Marcelo Melo, the 10th seeds, or second-seeded Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazil's Bruno Soares in the final.