Paes-Bhupathi win first round, to meet Chilean pair next (Lead)August 12th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS
By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 12 (IANS) Leander Paes, playing his fifth Olympic Games, and Mahesh Bhupathi, his fourth, began their campaign on a wining note in what could be their last attempt together to add an Olympic doubles medal to their already burgeoning collection. The duo scored an emphatic 6-3, 6-3 win over French pair of Simon Gilles and Gael Monfils in just under an hour. Monfils, a semi-finalist, at the Roland Garros this year, boasts of a record of winning three junior Grand Slam titles in a single year and was World No. 1 in junior rankings in 2004.
Paes and Bhupathi will now face Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa of Chile who upset Czech pair, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek.
The Indians have won three Grand Slams in partnership that goes back 13 years - though they rarely play together these days unless it is the Olympics, Asian Games or the Davis Cup.
Paes, who said he felt pumped by Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal, and Bhupathi needed one break in the fourth game of the first set to win it in 25 minutes. In the second set, the pair stayed with serves till 3-3. The two then ran through the last three games, breaking twice to wrap up the match.
Soon after the win, Paes commented, “It was not as easy a match as the score line might suggest. It was just that we won crucial points, or else they would have had a better chance.”
Paes was probably being cautious as the Indians never faced a break point on their serve in either set and in the first set won each point when they got their first serve in, which was two-third of the time.
Paes added, “We played well enough. Somebody asked me if we had re-discovered the magic we had in our doubles game. My reply is: was it ever gone?”
“We will need to step up our game to ensure that we perform well against tougher opponents.”
Paes and Bhupathi served and volleyed very well and there were times, one could see glimpses of the old partnership. “We have played together so much that it is always there. We know each other so well,” said Paes.
Paes, however, first pointed out that their second-round opponents could be the experienced Czech pair, Tomas and Stepanek. “They are both good doubles players,” he said.
But a little later, Berdych and Stepanek lost to Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa of Chile.
When told about Melo and Sa’s win, Paes said, “We cannot afford to be easy in any match at this level. Everyone is so good.”
Melo and Sa have been very successful, having won three titles together in last 15 months and two of them in 2008.
Even more interestingly, Melo and Sa played and won the longest ever match at Wimbledon winning 28-26 in the final set lasting six hours and 13 minutes.
Should the Indians win their matches against the Chileans, they could run into the Swiss pair Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.
- Wimbledon: Sania-Bhupathi lose, Paes-Stepanek surge ahead (Lead) - Jun 30, 2012
- Paes-Stepanek, Bhupathi-Bopanna knocked out of Wimbledon - Jul 04, 2012
- Bhupathi-Bopanna in Cincinnati tennis quarters - Aug 17, 2012
- Point to prove for Indian stars at Wimbledon - Jun 24, 2012
- Bhupathi-Bopanna, Paes-Stepanek advance to Miami quarters - Mar 27, 2012
- Paes-Stepanek shock Bryan brothers; lift Australian Open men's doubles title (Lead) - Jan 28, 2012
- Paes-Bhupathi advance to semis, Bopanna-Qureshi out - Aug 20, 2011
- Bhupathi-Bopanna toil; Paes-Stepanek cruise into second round - Jan 18, 2012
- Paes-Stepanek in finals, Mahesh-Bhupathi out - Mar 30, 2012
- Paes-Stepanek beat Marrero-Verdasco, meet Bryan brothers in semis - Mar 29, 2012
- Paes to partner Bhupathi at London Olympics (Lead) - Jun 15, 2012
- Sweet victory: Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi clinch Cincinnati title (Lead) - Aug 22, 2011
- Paes pockets 50th doubles title with Miami win - Apr 01, 2012
- Paes-Stepanek storm into final of Australian Open - Jan 26, 2012
- Paes-Bhupathi crash out of Rogers Cup - Aug 10, 2011
Tags: abhinav bindra, asian games, better chance, break point, davis cup, gael monfils, glimpses, gold medal, grand slam titles, grand slams, krishnaswamy, last attempt, leander paes, mahesh bhupathi, radek stepanek, roland garros, score line, semi finalist, three games, tomas berdych