Paes-Bhupathi win doubles match
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Paes-Bhupathi win doubles match

The trusted pair ensured India stayed afloat in the Davis Cup tie against South Korea by reducing the lead to 1-2.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 14:43 IST

The trusted pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi ensured India stayed afloat in the Davis Cup tie against South Korea by winning the doubles and reducing the lead to 1-2 here on Friday.

Reeling at 0-2 after the twin defeats in the opening singles matches on Thursday, the Indian duo exhibited sparks of their old rhythm to overcome Oh-Hee Kwon and Woong-Sun Jun 6-2 1-6 6-3 6-2 in the Asia Oceania Zone Group I tie.

India's victory in the doubles has now rendered Sunday's reverse singles matches crucial for both the sides.

Coming together for the tie, Paes-Bhupathi started off on a positive note, winning the first set with ease. However, Oh-Hee and Sun got their act together and capitalised on the errors of their opponents to fight back and bag the second set in no time.

With the scores levelled at one-set all, Paes and Bhupathi clung on to their aggressive brand of tennis to race to a 5-0 lead in the third set.

The Koreans showed some resistance to win three games, but they had no answer to the Indians' net coverage and fine sync with each other.

However, the confident Indians broke back in the very next game with Bhupathi holding on his serve to wrap up the match in style.

India, who have lost all the three previous Davis Cup rubbers hosted by South Korea, now need to win both the reverse singles to qualify to the next round of the tournament.

In Monday's matches, 232nd ranked Rohan Bopanna is scheduled to take on 89th ranked Hyung Taik Lee while Prakash Amritraj, with a ranking of 249, is slated to lock horns with Hee-Seok Chung, ranked a lowly 677.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 14:05 IST