The Indian Express at full pace | sports | Hindustan Times
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The Indian Express at full pace

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi seem to have made a practice of grabbing euphoric audiences by the scruff and then shaking them some. Paes continues to draw sizable crowds for each of his matches and he sure knows how to work the audience. A 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4) Houdini by the top-seeded duo against England’s Josh Goodall and James Dino Ward rode astride a swell of crowd support. Tomojit Basu reports.

sports Updated: Oct 08, 2010 14:25 IST
Tomojit Basu

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi seem to have made a practice of grabbing euphoric audiences by the scruff and then shaking them some. Paes continues to draw sizable crowds for each of his matches and he sure knows how to work the audience. A 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4) Houdini by the top-seeded duo against England’s Josh Goodall and James Dino Ward rode astride a swell of crowd support.

The first set, while comfortable, exposed the fact that the ‘Indian Express,’ who have 23 Grand Slams between them, were finding it difficult to return Ward and Goodall’s thundering serves. However, Paes’s magic at the net with Bhupathi providing powerful support from the back allowed them to keep the pressure up on the Englishmen.

With no breaks, the set went into a tie-breaker where more unforced errors resulted in the Indians losing 4-7. The body language of the Indians changed in the third set, with passionate yells at every point earned. Chests bumped as Paes volleyed to perfection against the hapless Englishmen time and again. The crowd roared its approval.

Second-seed Sania Mirza enjoyed a 66-minute walk in the park against eighth-seed Marina Erakovic of New Zealand whom she trounced 6-1, 6-3 to make it to the women’s singles semis where she will face sixth-seed Australian Olivia Rogowska who overpowered Rushmi Chakravarthi in a 5-7, 4-6 triumph.