Paes, Bhupathi advance to second round

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Melbourne, Jan 17 (UNI) Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi pulled their games together just in time to win their respective doubles first round matches and move into the second round of the Australian Open here today.

Fifth seed Paes and his Australian partner Paul Hanley had to battle hard against Peru's Luis Horna and Stefan Koubek of Austria in a game that could have gone either way.

Paes and Hanley, finally overcame their opponents' resistance after an hour and 48 minutes to win the match 7-6(2), 7-6(5).

Paes-Hanley will now take on the Indo-American duo of Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram. Bopanna and Ram yesterday defeated the British-American pair of James Auckland and Sam Querrey to move into the second round.

Bhupathi and his Bahamas' partner Mark Knowles, seeded sixth, too had to bring in all their experience in an exciting battle that went on for an hour and 39 minutes.

The duo of Bhupathi and Knowles did faulter at some crucial points conceding six double faults in comparison to their opponents' one and managed to convert only two of the nine break points that came their way.

However, Russia's Mikhail Youzhny and his German partner Mischa Zverevthe could not hold on to their serve in the second set and lost the match 6-7(10), 4-6.

The Swiss-Belgian duo of Yves Allegro and Kristof Vliegen who defeated Israel's Harel Levy and Dudi Sela in the first round will face the Indo-Bahamian challenge in the second round.

UNI XC RAR AB BST1730

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