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Paes, Bhupathi in mixed doubles quarterfinals

New York: Indian aces Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes breezed into the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event with their respective partners following straight set wins over their opponents in the U.S. Open tennis tournament here on Saturday.

The top-seeded pairing of Bhupathi and Liezel Huber of the United States eased past Jill Craybas and Eric Butorac of USA 6-3, 6-3 in a 54-minute second-round match to stay in the hunt.

The second-seeded combination of Leander Paes and Zimbabwe’s Cara Black saw off Italian Flavia Pennetta and Serb Dusan Vemic 6-4, 6-4 in 74 minutes to set up a quarterfinal clash with seventh seed Rennae Stubbs of Australia and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden.

Sluggish serve

Though Bhupathi and Huber were a bit sluggish with their service, as they committed five double faults compared to their rivals’ one, the two more than made up by converting all four breakpoints which came their way. They also defended six out of the seven breakpoints in the process.

Paes and Black played compact tennis to see through their opponent’s challenge.

Even though Penneta and Venic managed to break them once in the first set, Paes and Black hit back, converting two of the four break points that came their way to go one up in 33 minutes.

The second set was an intense affair with both the pairs going neck-and-neck. Paes and Black did not find the going easy but they still managed to break their opponents once which proved decisive in the end. — PTI

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