Paes-Damm reach Masters Cup semis
Leander Paes and his partner Martin Damm became the first pair to secure a semi-final berth in the doubles competition of the Tennis Masters Cup.sports Updated: Nov 14, 2007 11:55 IST
India's Leander Paes and his partner Martin Damm of the Czech Republic became the first pair to secure a semi-final berth in the doubles competition of the Tennis Masters Cup.
The Indian tennis ace's quest for a third Masters Cup doubles title remained on course with a second successive win in round-robin play Tuesday, as Paes and Damm defeated the Israeli duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 6-4, 7-5.
The 2006 US Open doubles champions Paes and Damm won 72 percent of service points and converted three of five break point opportunities. It was the pair's third win in four meetings over Erlich and Ram, who were late replacements for World number one pair of Bob and Mike Bryan.
Paes and Damm came into the tournament after first round losses in the ATP Masters Series events in Paris and Madrid over the past three weeks.
Paes is looking for his third the Tennis Masters Cup crown in his distinguished career. The Indian won the season finale in 2000 with countryman Mahesh Bhupathi and in 2005 with Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.
Meanwhile, Swede Jonas Bjorkman and Belarussian Max Mirnyi's hopes of defending their title suffered a big setback with their second consecutive defeat after they crashed 6-7 (3-7), 4-6 to Australian Paul Hanley and Zimbabwean Kevin Ullyett Tuesday.
The defending champions were brushed aside by Paes and Damm Sunday in straight sets and the second straight loss now leaves them with only a mathematical chance of making it to the last four of the season ending tournament.