Lee-Hesh in Aus Open final; to clash with Bryan brothers

Melbourne, Jan 27 (PTI) Reliving their old magic, LeanderPaes and Mahesh Bhupathi earned a chance to complete theirGrand Slam cabinet by reaching the men''s doubles final of theAustralian Open, here today.

The third seed Indian Express, as they are known, pippedthe second seed pair of Belarusian Max Mirnyi and DanielNestor of Canada 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 in the semifinal at MelbournePark here.

They will play against top seed American twins and doubledefending champions Mike and Bob Bryan in the summit clash.

The Bryan brothers eased past unseeded duo of EricButorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-3, 6-2 in 54 minutes in theirsemifinal.

Paes and Bhupathi decided to rejoin the forces after nineyears to win that elusive Australian Open trophy, at the startof the season.

They came into Australian Open in a good nick as theyclinched the Chennai Open at home.

Paes has won 12 Grand Slam titles and Bhupathi 11 intheir respective careers but they have never won AustralianOpen men''s doubles trophy.

Interestingly, Bhupathi has not won a men''s doubles GrandSlam title since 2002 US Open with max Mirnyi.

Paes and Bhupathi last played together at a Grand Slam atAustralian Open in 2002 when they reached the second round.


Paes and Bhupathi had to sweat a lot against Mirnyi and Nestor as both the pairs fought tooth and nail before theIndians prevailed.

There was hardly anything to separate the two teams asthey broke each other twice in the opening set, which wasdecided through a tie-break in the favour of the Indians.

Paes and Bhupathi had their chances to clinch the issuein straight sets but squandered two breakpoints and droppedtheir own serve once to allow their rivals to take the matchto the third set.

They did not repeat the mistake in the deciding set andconverted the first available chance to open up lead and endon the right side of the result after two hours and 20minutes.

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