Paes-Stepanek beat Bryan brothers to enter US Open final

Bob and Mike Bryan’s hopes of becoming the first men's doubles team since 1951 to claim a calendar year Grand Slam were shattered by Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek at the US Open last night.

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek
Two good: India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek celebrate after beating Bob and Mike Bryan in the US Open men’s doubles semi-finals last night. Pic/AFP

The India-Czech fourth seeds downed the top-seeded Americans 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals, ending the American brothers' hopes of sweeping the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year.

Paes (40) and 34-year-old Stepanek, who won the 2012 Australian Open, will face either Croatian Ivan Dodig and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo, the 10th seeds, or second-seeded Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazil’s Bruno Soares in the final.

“I have a great partner in Radek. He had spinal surgery this year and has fought his way back after a tough year. So when we play together we feel anything is possible,” said Paes.

Stepanek, who was out for four months to recover from surgery, said he and Paes may develop a new celebration style in the final after showing off a well-synchronized 'crab-dance' on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday.

“It just felt natural to do it as we have a lot of fun on court. Maybe we will have something in the final,” he said. The Bryans, who were defending champions, had already become the first pair to hold all four majors at the same time when they captured a third Wimbledon title in July.

The only men’s doubles duo to complete a calendar year Grand Slam remains the Australian pairing of Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman in 1951. 

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