Chennai: Top seeds Leander Paes and Raven Klaasen of South Africa lived up to their billing and entered the semifinals of the men's doubles event at the ATP Chennai Open with a hard-fought win over Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Saketh Myneni, here yesterday.
Leander Paes in action at the ongoing Chennai Open. Pic/PTI
The Paes-Klaasen combination came from a set down to beat Bhupathi and Myneni 1-6 6-1 10-7 in the keenly-contested quarterfinal duel. The Indo-South African pair will next face unseeded Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the semifinals.
Busta and Garcia-Lopez had defeated Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania and Mate Pavic of Croatia 6-4 0-6 10-4 in another quarterfinal match. Paes and Klaasen were slow to get off the blocks as Bhupathi and Myneni broke their rivals twice out of four opportunities to pocket the first set 6-1.
But Paes used all his experience and combined well with Klaasen to forge a comeback in the match. Paes-Klaasen broke Bhupathi and Myneni twice to pocket the second set and take the match into super tie-breaker.
In the super tie-breaker, Paes and Klaasen kept their composure to seal the tie in their favour. Meanwhile in another doubles quarterfinal match earlier in the day, Indo-Canadian pair of Purav Raja and Adil Shamasdin defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut and Stanislaus Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-6 4-6 10-4 to book a
place in the last four round.
After losing the match, Bhupathi said Paes' vast experience went against them. "We know each others strengths and weakness and perhaps this is the best doubles match that was played so far in the tournament history for 20 years," Bhupathi said.
"He (Paes) is known for playing and winning the big points. We lost today manly because of that," he added.