Paes paces ahead in Australian Open; Sania-Hesh enter semis

Paes and Stepanek registered a straight set win over Eric Butorac of USA and Brazil's Bruno Soares.

Written by Agencies | Melbourne | Published:January 25, 2012 5:19 pm

Leander Paes had a productive day at the Australian Open as he made it to the semifinals of the men’s doubles pairing Radek Stepanek and then entered the mixed doubles quarterfinals with Elena Vesnina here today.

Sania Mirza,meanwhile,had a mixed day as she reached the semi-finals of the mixed doubles event with Mahesh Bhupathi,but she missed out when she lost the women’s doubles semi-final along with Vesnina.

The unseeded Indo-Czech pair of Paes and Stepanek registered a straight-set victory over 10th seeded pair of Eric Butorac of USA and Brazil’s Bruno Soares 6-4 7-6 in a battle that lasted an hour and 39 minutes.

Paes and Stepanek looked more comfortable than their fancied opponents in the opening set as they held their serve with ease and managed to convert the only break point they got.

The US-Brazilian duo of Butorac and Soares though came up with a better show in the second set,putting a lot of pressure on their opponents’ serve.

After both the pairs exchanged breaks,the set moved into a tie-breaker. Paes and Stepanek did well to take a 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker and then held their nerves to win it 7-4.

They will next take on second seeds Belarus’ Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor of Canada for a place in the final.

Paes,then,along with Vesnina downed unseeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in straight sets 6-3 7-5.

Meanwhile the sixth seeded Indian pair of Sania and Bhupathi got the better of Liezel Huber of USA and Colin Fleming of United Kingdom in straight sets 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

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