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Paes, Bhupathi to face each other again

Mahesh Bhuapathi and Max Mirnyi entered the semi-finals of the men's doubles event at Wimbledon beating Martin Damm and Cyril Suk in straight sets.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2003 01:23 IST
S. Kannan

Blame it on the rain. The much-awaited men's doubles semi-final between Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi against Leander Paes and David Rikl was postponed to Friday after referee Alan Mills decided he needed to get through with the backlog of matches in mixed doubles at The Championships.

Having waited in frustration all night, when Mahesh and Max stepped out on Thursday, they spent less than five minutes in defeating Martin Dam and Cyril Suk 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 in the unfinished quarter-finals.

Top seeds Mahesh and Mirnyi played patchy tennis and know if they have to settle scores with highly motivated

Leander and Rikl, they have to definitely play with more purpose.

There is no doubt it is not possible to play with the same intensity day in and day out.

Mirnyi had done exceedingly well in singles, and to reproduce the same form in doubles meant he had to find rhythm.

But when you have several rain breaks, it does not allow a player to up the pace.

Mahesh's return of serve, the most essential ingredient in the power play of this duo, never clicked. And that was the biggest reason why they could not convert break points which came their way in the first two sets.

In the third set, Mahesh and Mirnyi forced an early break.

And from that stage, the two looked far more composed.

The last time the top seeds meet Leander and Rikl at French Open, Mahesh and Max lost after dominating.

"It's just another day, another match. We start as the underdogs as we are seeded fifth and have nothing to lose," said Leander of the mouth-watering clash in store.

But what are the mind games being played? "Mahesh and I know each others game so well, we know what to expect.

“The last time, they were on top before momentum swung our way. This time, anything can happen," added Leander.

First Published: Jul 04, 2003 00:00 IST