Bopanna, Paes enter semis of Wimbledon
India had a good day in office as Rohan Bopanna secured his third Grand Slam semifinal berth while Leander Paes too sealed his place in the last four stage in the men's doubles competition at the Wimbledon here today
Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin, seeded 14th, overcame a fighting Swede-Canadian pair of Robert Lidstedt and Daniel Nestor in a marathon five-setter 7-5 7-6 (3) 6-7 (4) 6-7 (3) 6-2 in the rain-hit match in two hours and 45 minutes at court number two.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin had knocked out third seeds Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil in their previous match. It will be Bopanna's only third Grand Slam semifinal appearance and first at Wimbledon, having played US Open last-four in 2010, when he ended runners-up to American twins Mike and Bob Bryan and in 2011 when he did not go beyond the semifinal stage.
Bopannaa and Roger-Vasselin had a match point in the fourth set but Lidstedt and Nestor saved that and strecthed the set into a tie-breaker, which they won to force decisive fifth set. An early break handed Bopanna and his partner a 3-1 lead and that stayed with them for a win in the end.
Bopanna may find his regular partner Mahesh Bhupathi in the semifinals if the latter and his partner Julian Knowle upset top seeds Mike and Bob Bryan in the other quarter-final. In another quarterfinal duel, veteran Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek, seeded fourth, took two hours and 39 minutes to get the better 11th seeds Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Julien Benneteau of France.