Paes-Stepanek storm into final of Australian Open

January 26th, 2012 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Rohan Bopanna Melbourne, Jan 26 (IANS) The newly formed pair of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek stormed into the men’s doubles final of the Australian Open, defeating second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor here Thursday. Leander also made it to the last four of mixed doubles with partner Elena Vesnina.

India’s Paes and the Czech Republic’s Stepanek shrugged off a poor start to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 against the established Belarusian-Canadian duo of Mirnyi and Nestor. They next face Bryan brothers Mike and Bob of the US in the final. The top seeds beat Swede Robert Lindstedt and Romanian Horia Tecau 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) in the first semifinal.

Paes and Stepanek hit 33 winners to their opponents but, more importantly, they converted three of the five break points on offer. They served solidly through the match, recording an impressive 72 percent of first serves to 48 by Mirnyi and Nestor.

Paes has won six Grand Slam doubles titles with different partners but is yet to win here at Melbourne Park. The Indian teamed up with Stepanek at the start of the year after splitting with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.

The 38-year-old veteran also emerged victorious in the mixed doubles quarterfinal. Partnering Russia’s Vesnina, Paes got the better of India’s Rohan Bopanna and American Lisa Raymond 6-2, 6-2 in 57 minutes.

The Indo-Russian combine meet Italy’s Roberta Vinci and Daniele Bracciali in the semifinals.

Paes also has six Grand Slam mixed doubles titles to his credit.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |