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Aus Open: Sania out of mixed doubles too

On the other hand, the Paes-Damm duo defeated Bhupathi and Moodie 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and moved into quarter-finals.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 17:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Leander Paes got the better of Mahesh Bhupathi in the men's doubles while Sania Mirza bowed out of the mixed doubles in the first round at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis in Melbourne on Monday.

Paes and Martin Damm of the Czech Republic recovered from a slow start to defeat Bhupathi and Wesley Moodie of South Africa 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and moved into the quarter-finals.

The seventh-seed lost their very first serving game but proved to be the better of the two teams as they won in an hour and 42 minutes in the third round match.

The Indo-Czech pair will now take on Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus in the last-eight stage.

Sania and Wimbledon men's doubles champion Stephen Huss of Australia went down 3-6, 3-6 to Bob Bryan of the US and Vera Zvonereva of Russia.

Moodie and Bhupathi, who went into the match without a win this season, dominated the first set.

The duo put early pressure on their rivals by forcing four break points on Damm's serve. A break in the second game helped them go up 3-0 before taking the set.

But Paes and Damm came back strongly in the second set. A couple of strong service returns by either players got them the break on Bhupathi's serve in the fourth game and they held on to the lead and pushed the match into the decider.

Paes and Damm turned on the heat on their opponents early in the third set. It was the turn of Moodie, the Wimbledon doubles champion, to come under pressure while serving.

With Damm providing magical touch on return of serves and Paes prowling the net like a predator on the kill, Moodie cracked.

The 6.5 ft tall South African served two aces, one to save a break point, but then put a drop shot wide to surrender the game.

Paes and Damm gradually pulled away. They forced three more break points on Bhupathi's serve in the seventh game and the Indian obliged with a double fault.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 09:02 IST