US Open: Paes storms into final of mixed doubles

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{image-Paes at US open_03092008.jpg}New York, Sep 3: Continuing his winning spree, ace Indian pro Leander Paes along with his respective partners cruised into the semifinals of the men's doubles and final of the mixed doubles competitions of the US Open here.

Paes with his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy booked a place at the semifinals after defeating the formidable Swede-Finland pair of Robert Lindstedt and Jarko Nieminen 6-3 6-7 (2) 6-3 in the quarterfinal clash, which lasted over two hours yesterday. Paes-Dlouhy pair will now face Argentine pair of Maximo Gonzalez Juan Monaco, who has reached the semifinals after trouncing Brazilian-Serbian duo of Bruno Soares and Dusan Vemic 6-2 6-7 (3) 6-3 in the men's doubles.

Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles semifinals, fifth seeded Paes along with his Zimbabwean partner Cara Black pipped the Swede-Russian pair of Jonas Bjorkman and Nadia Petrova 6-4 6-4 to enter the final.

Paes-Black will take on Liezel Huber of the United States and Briton Andy Murray, who beat American pair of Jill Craybas and Eric Butorac 6-3 6-4 in their semifinals.

In the doubles quarters, Paes-Dlouhy managed to score some points from their opponents Lindstedt-Nieminen mistakes, as they wasted three breakpoints in the first set, while Indo-Czech converted the one and only chance to go ahead.

However, in the second set, both the teams converted two of the three chances but Paes-Dlouhy duo stammered in the tie-breaker allowing the rival team to stretch the match to the third set.

Lindstedt-Nieminen, in the decisive final set, once again wasted four breakpoints while the Indo-Czech duo managed to convert one of the three chances to clinch the issue.

Indian veteran Mahesh Bhupathi along with his Bahamas partner Mark Knowles, after losing in the first round of the mixed doubles, and third round of the doubles competition, have already crashed out of the event.


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