Indians Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes are heading for a showdown in the mixed doubles final at the US Open tennis tournament as they are through to the semi-finals. The two have also entered the men's doubles quarter-finals at the Flushing Meadows in New York on Monday.
Top seeds Bhupathi and his American partner Liezel Huber on Monday easily outwitted eighth seeds Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 6-3, while second seeded Paes and his Zimbabwean partner Cara Black just about managed to pip Swede Robert Lindstedt and Rennae Stubbs of Australia, seeded seventh, in the super tie-break 7-5, 3-6, 10-6.
In the men's doubles, third-seeded Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas did enough to beat Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu and Israel's Dudi Sela, 6-4, 6-4, in an hour and 11 minutes, while fourth seeds Paes and the Czech Republic's Lukas Dlouhy had to exert a bit more to overcome Austrian pair Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes.
In the mixed doubles semi-finals, Bhupathi and Huber take on unseeded American pair Travis Parrott and Carly Gullickson who upset third-seeded American Lisa Raymond and Poland's Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 7-5, while Paes and Black will meet unseeded pair of Zimbabwean Kevin Ullyett and Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh who beat Mariyusz Fyrstenberg of Poland and Chinese Zi Yan 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).
Bhupathi and Huber won in a shade over an hour, while Paes and Black had to sweat it out for an hour and 23 minutes.
Bhupathi and Huber were clearly the better pair on court as Zimonjic and Mattek-Sands committed a plethora of unforced errors. The Indo-American pair converted four of their six break points whereas Zimonjic and Mattek-Sands could only pull off two of the five they forced.
There was little to choose between Paes and Black and their opponents. If there was any difference it was marginal, but in the tie-break they were the steadier of the two pairs.
In the men's doubles, Bhupathi and Knowles will next play Croatian Ivan Ljubicic and Frenchman Michael Llodra who beat Argentinean Juan Ignacio Chela and Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, while Paes and Dlouhy take on seventh seeds South African Wesley Moodie and Belgian Dick Norman who beat 11th seeds Czech Martin Damm and Swede Robert Lindstedt 6-7(4), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5).
In the junior boys singles first round, India's Sudanwa Sitaram lost to American Alexander Domijan 3-6, 6-3, 5-7.