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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Tennis

Paes, Stepanek beat Bryan brothers to reach US Open finals
AFP
New York, September 06, 2013
First Published: 00:16 IST(6/9/2013)
Last Updated: 02:47 IST(8/9/2013)

Bob and Mike Bryan's hopes of becoming the first men's doubles team since 1951 to claim a calendar year Grand Slam were shattered by Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek at the US Open on Thursday.


   
The India-Czech fourth seeds downed the top-seeded Americans 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals, ending the American brothers' hopes of sweeping the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year.
   
Paes, 40, and 34-year-old Stepanek, who won the 2012 Australian Open, will face either Croatian Ivan Dodig and Brazil's Marcelo Melo, the 10th seeds, or second-seeded Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazil's Bruno Soares in the final.
   
"I have great respect for the Bryan boys. They are great ambassadors for US tennis," said Paes, the winner of seven men's doubles titles at the majors.

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"But I have a great partner in Radek. He had spinal surgery this year and has fought his way back after a tough year. So when we play together we feel anything is possible."
   
Stepanek, who was out for four months to recover from surgery, said he and Paes may develop a new celebration style in the final after showing off a well-synchronized 'crab-dance' on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday.
   
"It just felt natural to do it as we have a lot of fun on court. Maybe we will have something in the final," he said.
   
The Bryans, who were defending champions, had already become the first pair to hold all four majors at the same time when they captured a third Wimbledon title in July.
   
They also completed a 'Golden Bryan Slam' by winning the London Olympics in 2012.
   
The only men's doubles duo to complete a calendar year Grand Slam remains the Australian pairing of Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman in 1951.


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