HT Image
HT Image

More success for Leander, Mahesh at Wimbledon

Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova ran away 6-0, 6-1 winners against Alexander Lopez Moron and Rosanna Neffa-De Los Rios to enter the third round.
PTI | By S. Kannan, London
PUBLISHED ON JUL 02, 2003 12:53 AM IST

Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova are enjoying themselves in the middle at The Championships. After a patient wait following a rain delay on Monday evening, the Australian Open champions stepped on court and ran away 6-0, 6-1 winners against Alexander Lopez Moron and Rosanna Neffa-De Los Rios to enter the third round.

Mahesh Bhupathi also made progress, as he and Max Mirnyi defeated Gaston Etlis and Martin Rodriguez 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 to enter the men's doubles quarter-finals.

A lot of talk in the locker room this year at the Grand Slams has revolved around Leander's decision to team up with a senior citizen. At 46, what Navratilova is attempting and from where she finds the motivation is hard to explain. Leander says he is enjoying playing with her.

Some of the journeymen have told Leander he can find a much better partner. But the emotional man that Leander is, he has chosen to stick on with Navratilova. "It's simple. At the start of the season, I was going though my tough moments. And the win (mixed doubles) in Melbourne has come as huge motivation. I see nothing wrong in pairing with Martina," says Leander.

Losing just one game is something to be proud of, even though it's a mixed doubles tie. And despite the cold and cough which Leander is nursing, he played very well on Monday with Navratilova.

It was pure symphony, just as good as the men's doubles performance earlier in the day with David Rikl. Leander says the "Czech connection is helping." Navratilova is now an American, but David Rikl comes from the Czech Republic.

The way Leander is going, it is certain, win or lose, he has got his rhythm back in doubles after an indifferent year behind him. At 30, it's smooth sailing for the champion.

In boys' singles, Somdev Devvarman lost to Devin Mullings 6-7, 7-5, 1-6. Eden Marama defeated upset 16th seed Sania Mirza 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Viajy and Anand Amritraj beat Owen Davidson and John Newcombe 6-2, 6-2 in over-45 doubles match.

Story Saved