Aus Open: Double bonanza for India

Updated on Jan 26, 2006 09:07 PM IST

While Paes-Damm pair entered men's doubles' final, Bhupathi and Hingis stormed into mixed doubles' semifinals.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, Melbourne

Seventh seeds Leander Paes and his partner Martin Damm will stake claim on the men's doubles title at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament after claiming a straight-set victory in the semifinals here on Thursday.

The Indo-Czech pair ended the run of an unseeded duo of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland by scoring 6-2 6-4 win at the Margaret Court Arena.

Paes and Damm lived up to their higher seedings by playing a clinical game against their inexperienced opponents and completely outperforming them in almost all the departments during their 79-minute encounter.

Paes is making his second final appearance here, the first time being in 1999 when he was top seed with compatriot partner Mahesh Bhupathi and the duo were upset by fifth seeds Patrick Rafter of Australia and Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.

The Indian would look for a similar upset, albeit in his favour this time, as he and Damm challenges top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in the title clash.  

The Americans stormed into the finals after a 6-3 6-4 win over Australian Paul Hanley and Zimbabwean Kevin Ullyett in the semifinal.

The Bryans, who grabbed five titles last year including their home Grand Slam -- the US Open -- and finish the season as the No.1-ranked partnership in the world, are looking for their first Australian Open title after falling at the last hurdle in the past two years.

Paes and Damm have earlier defeated Mahesh Bhupathi and and Wesley Moodie of South Africa in the pre-quarterfinals and second seeds Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Belarussian Max Mirnyi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, third seeded Sanam Singh was upset by Austen Childs of New Zealand in a three-setter in the third round of the boys singles.

Sanam, who began on positive note by bagging the first set, lost 6-4 3-6 3-6 to end Indian challenge in the junior section of the competition. 

Bhupathi, Hingis storm into mixed doubles semis

Meanwhile, Mahesh Bhupathi continued his affair with Martina Hingis as the Indo-Swiss duo reached the mixed doubles semifinals with a thrilling straight sets victory over home pair Todd Perry and Rennae Stubbs.

Bhupathi and Hingis defeated the Aussie tandem 7-5 7-6 (7/5) in the quarterfinals to reach the last-four stage where they will take on another local combination, Paul Hanley and Samantha Stosur. 

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