Paes-Bhupathi likely to play in Chennai Open

Paes-Bhupathi likely to play in Chennai Open

Chennai Open, to be held here from January 3-9, would certainly be a good outing for the duo ahead of the crucial Australian Open, which is scheduled to take place the very next week in Melbourne.

"They would be obviously be wanting to play at the Chennai Open as the Australian Open would be played the very next week," IMG South Asia MD Ravi Krishnan told reporters.

Bhupathi had earlier announced that he would be pairing with Paes in the Australian Open, the lone Grand Slam that had eluded them.

"Leander and Mahesh have decided to play in Australian Open. We will welcome them with open arms to play in the Chennai Open preceding the Australian Open. We do not want to confirm for hundred per cent but Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan have confirmed their participation," Ravi Krishnan said.

Lee-Hesh, who would be pairing up for the first time in nine years in a grand slam during Australian Open next year, had parted ways in ATP and grand slam tournaments, but continued to play together for India in Davis Cup matches and quadrennial games.

In September, the duo had won the doubles tie for India against Brazil here and played their part in putting the country back in Davis Cup World Group.

Presently, Peas and Bhupathi are playing with different partners in the London Masters tournament.

Going by their current form and recent successes, one can expect a lot of fireworks if Paes and Bhupathi play in Chennai Open.

Paes (37) and Bhupathi (36) provided the home crowd huge excitement in the Chennai Open during 1997-99 when they won the doubles title for three consecutive years. They also won the doubles crown at the same venue in 2002.

The two formed a formidable partnership in the late 90s and steadily climbed the ladder in doubles rankings to become a strong combine as they won three Grand Slam titles.
Paes, ranked 5, has bagged a career 12 Grand Slam titles, while Bhupathi, ranked 6, has won 11.

For some unspecified reasons, the duo took to different ways in 2002. Like their joining together in 2004 at Toronto Open in preparation for the Athens Olympics, Paes and Bhupathi reunited in Thailand Open last month but lost in the first round.

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