Paes, Tipsarevic advance to semis of Chennai Open

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Tennis
Chennai, Jan 5: The Indo-Serbian duo of third seeds Leander Paes and Janko Tipsarevic on Thursday kept alive chances of a title showdown with the Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna after advancing to the semifinals of the doubles event at the Aircel Chennai Open 2012 here.

Paes and Tipsarevic beat their Slovak-Italian opposition of Igor Zelanay and Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4 in just 65 minutes. Paes said after the game that he loved playing with Tipsarevic because "he shows his love for the game every time he goes out to play."

Tipsarevic for his part said he never hesistated to ask Paes questions about things about the game he did not know. The first set was a closely fought affair between Paes/Tipsarevic and their Slovak-Italian opposition till the third seeds broke back their opposition in the eighth game after being broken in the previous game.

The break gave Paes and Tipsarevic a 5-3 lead, which they added to in the next game and wrapped up the set on serve. Paes/Tipsarevic also broke the oppositon in game four of the first set.

The break back in game 8 was a tad fortuitous, as Tipsarevic, who netted a number of backhand returns from a forward position throughout the match, again saw his backhand let him down as he hit a backhand return long to let the opposition draw level and off the leash momentarily.

However, with the teams on deuce, Fognini hit a forehand return wide from the back of the court to gift the game to Paes/Tipsarevic. As for Paes, he showed his wealth of experience, be it using the pace on Fognini's serves to either play deft drop shots or placing them at unexpected corners of the court.

The second set saw a more concerted effort from Fognini and Zelanay, who managed to win four games though did not break Paes/Tipsarevic. Paes/Tipsarevic broke them in game five, however, and the Serbian served out the match in the tenth game when Zelanay hit a forehand return wide.

Paes/Tipsarevic will meet Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram in the semifinals.

PTI

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