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Bhupathi-Stepanek storm into semis

The duo beat second seeds Bjorkman and Mirnyi while Paes' campaign ends with a quarterfinal defeat in mixed doubles.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2007 19:30 IST
Paes' campaign over,Bhupathi-Stepanek storm into semis

Mahesh Bhupathi and Radek Stepanek stormed their way into men's doubles semifinals with an upset win over second seeds Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi but Leander Paes' campaign came to an with a quarterfinal defeat in mixed doubles at the French Open.

Paes and his American partner Meghan Shaughnessy went down to the Chinese-Austrian duo of Sun Tiantian and Julian Knowle 6-4, 4-6, 7-10, while Bhupathi and Czech Republic's Stepanek upstaged Sweden's Bjorkman and Belarussian Mirnyi 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Bhupathi and Stepanek did not have a good start and had their back against the wall after they lost the first set.

But they responded with alacrity and converted two breakpoints, apart from saving all three in the second set, to stretch it to the decider where they held their nerve to end up on the right side of the see-saw contest.

It took them two and a quarter hours to get past the Bjorkman-Mirnyi pair, with the final set alone lasting more than an hour.

They will now meet Mark Knowles (Bahama) and Daniel Nestor (Canada) for a place in the final.

Paes had earlier crashed out of the men's doubles event where he and his Czech comrade-in-arms Martin Damm, seeded third, were stunned by Michael Kohlmann and Rainer Scheuttler in the second round.

Against the Sun-Knowle pair, Paes and Shaughnessy seized the early initiative by grabbing the first set but things gradually started to slip through their fingers as they could not tighten the noose.

Sun and Knowle broke their Indo-American opponents twice to take the second set and kept their cool in the super tie-break to walk away with a win in over one-and-half hours.

First Published: Jun 06, 2007 17:45 IST