Paes, Bhupathi reunite after nine years
Famed Indian doubles pair Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will team up again at the Australian Open in January, ending a nine-year separation on the circuit.sports Updated: Nov 21, 2010 09:34 IST
Famed Indian doubles pair Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will team up again at the Australian Open in January, ending a nine-year separation on the circuit.
The return of the duo, nicknamed the 'Indian Express' was announced by Bhupathi on his Twitter page, sparking celebrations in India's tennis fraternity.
"So the Indian Express rolls again at the Aussie Open next year," Bhupathi wrote on the micro-blogging site. "Our first slam in nine years ... you heard it here first people."
The duo has won three Grand Slam titles together -- the French Open in 1999 and 2001 and Wimbledon in 1999 -- while Paes has bagged a career 12 Grand Slam titles and Bhupathi 11.
They went their separate ways in 2002 for yet unspecified reasons, although they continue to team up for India in the Davis Cup and multi-sports events like the Olympics.
Paes, 37, and Bhupathi, 36, joined hands briefly at the Toronto Open in 2004 to prepare for the Athens Olympics.
India's non-playing Davis Cup captain Shiv Mishra was delighted at the news about the pair, who currently hold the tournament record for the longest winning streak of 23 doubles matches.
"This is very good news for Indian tennis," said Mishra. "Playing together wiIl also be a good preparation for the London Olympics.
"They still make a very good doubles team and it's good they have buried whatever differences they had. When I sit in the chair with a team like that, there is hardly anything to tell them.
"They still have it in them to win big tournaments. Only thing is they should remain free of injuries. Their game is still very good."
Davis Cup team-mate Rohan Bopanna was equally thrilled. "Wow, that's huge news. Good luck boys," he wrote on Twitter.