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Paes-Bhupathi earn bronze

sports Updated: Oct 10, 2010 01:29 IST
Tomojit Basu

The fogeys still have it. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, got the better of the younger pair comprising Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna 6-3, 7-6 (4) to pick up the Commonwealth Games (CWG) bronze medal.

Paes and Bhupathi, with 23 Grand Slam accolades between them, never faltered from the start. They were sharper than the youngsters, their strokes more refined and poaches better timed. In contrast, Bopanna tried all he could but was handicapped by Devvarman's inability to man the net with authority. A slew of unforced errors only hurt the 'students' more.

The first set saw the seasoned top-seeded 'Indian Express,' which had derailed against the Australians Peter Luczak and Paul Hanley in the semis, play a rampant brand of tennis far removed from the lethargy of yesterday.

Excitement was rife with the crowd clearly having a ball what with big-hitters Bhupathi and Bopanna leaving no stone unturned when it came knocking the felt off the ball.

Paes-Bhupathi broke serve in the fourth game to go up 3-1 and despite the second-seeded Bopanna-Devvarman and that ensured a 3-6 first set.

But that the younger ones weren't going to roll over and allow the experienced duo to race to victory became evident in the second set.

Bopanna and Devvarman held serve throughout and put on quite the spectacle for an appreciative audience which did not really seem to care much about who won.

Devvarman's 'hot-dog' in the ninth game would surely have had even the best giving an acknowledging nod.

The familiar chest-bumps and guttural grunts provided the multitude with much to cheer about. Ultimately, the second set tiebreak ended 7-4though it didn't look as though it mattered much, as both sides left the court to raucous applause.

Sania gets silver

Nails, if not fingers were chewed off, on Saturday with Sania Mirza's last gasp effort to salvage the Games women's singles gold.

She fell short to top-seed Australian Anastasia Rodionova in a three-setter in the game that lasted two hours and 13 minutes.

The match ended 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (3) but in effect was more within spitting distance than the score card suggested.