Paes-Bhupathi enter quarters, Bopanna-Qureshi bow out

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Melbourne, Jan 24 (PTI) Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathimoved into quarterfinals but "Indo-Pak Express", Rohan Bopannaand Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi crashed out of the men''s doublesevent in the Australian Open here today.

The ace Indian pair of Paes and Bhupathi, who teamed uptogether after nine years in a bid to add the only Grand Slamtitle -- the Australian Open -- missing in their cupboard,scored a fighting three set win over 13th seeds Granollers andRobredo 6-4 4-6 6-4 in an engrossing third round clash thatlasted for an hour and 52 minutes.

Things, however, did not fall in place for Bopanna andQureshi as the "Indo-Pak Express" went down fighting toFrance''s Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-3 6-76-7 in another tough third round match which spanned over twohours.

Third seeded pair of Paes and Bhupathi started the matchpositively as they pocketed the first set in just 33 minutes.

But Granollers and Robredo made a strong comeback in thesecond to take the encounter into the decider which theIndians won after a 42 minute battle.

The highlight of Paes and Bhupathi''s game today was theircent percent break point conversion. The Indian pair made useof the two opportunities that came their way while theiropponents could only manage two out of the four chances theyearned.

Paes and Bhupathi, however, will have to get their actstogether in the last eight round and avoid committing unforcederrors, which they did 18 times today as against their rival''seight.

In the quarterfinals, Paes and Bhupathi will play Llodraand Zimonjic, who held on to their nerves today to outplay theBopanna-Qureshi pair.

Against Llorda and Zimonjic today, Bopanna and Qureshi,seeded 10th here, got off to a great start registering thefirst set in their favour with a comfortable 6-3 win.

But the Indo-Pak duo faced some stiff resistance fromLlodra and Zimonjic in the next two sets.

Both the pairs fought hard and hardly spared an inch toone another. They and matched each other in all departments ofthe game to stretch the second as well as the third set totie-breakers.

While the second set went on for almost an hour, thethird and the final set saw a enthralling 50-minute battle.

In both the two tie-breakers, Bopanna-Qureshi failed tofinish it off, even as Llodra and Zimonjic managed to earncrucial points to seal the affair with a 6-7 (6-8) and 6-7(3-7) victory, respectively.

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