Paes-Stepanek to face Bhupathi-Bopanna in semi-finals

Nov 11, 2012, 09:18 IST | AFP

India's Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek enjoyed a surprise 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 10/7 win over the top seeded Bryan brothers to clinch first place in Group A at the ATP Tour Finals on Saturday.

Paes and Stepanek had already booked their place in today’s semi-finals after winning their opening two group fixtures, but they didn’t take it easy against Bob and Mike Bryan at London’s O2 Arena.

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek
Leander Paes returns to the Bryan brothers as his partner Radek Stepanek looks on. PIC/Getty Images

After winning a tight first set, the pair were pegged back in the second, which the Americans won on a tie-break. That meant a super tie-break was needed to settle the match and Paes and Stepanek took it on their second match point. Paes and Stepanek’s victory gives them the only 100 percent record of the eight doubles teams competing at the season-ending event and means they will play India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the semi-finals.

That promises to be a bitter battle after Bhupathi refused to be partnered with Paes during the London Olympics earlier this year. Bhupathi and Paes had a successful doubles partnership for several years, but split up when their relationship deteriorated. Paes and Stepanek will hope to repeat their victory over Bhupathi and Bopanna in the final of the Shanghai Masters earlier this year.

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