Paes paces ahead in Australian Open

Paes paces ahead in Australian Open

Leander Paes had a productive day at the Australian Open as he made the men's doubles semifinals with Radek Stepanek and entered the mixed doubles quarterfinals with Elena Vesnina here today.

However, it was all over for Sania Mirza and Russian Vesnina after they suffered a 6-7 6-2 4-6 loss at the hands of the unseeded Russian duo of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva.

The unseeded Indo-Czech pair of Paes and Stepanek registered a straight set win over 10th seeds Eric Butorac of USA and Brazil's Bruno Soares 6-4 7-6 in a battle that lasted an hour and 39 minutes. Paes and Stepanek looked more comfortable than their fancied opponents in the opening set as they held their serve with ease and managed to convert the only break point they got.

The American-Brazilian duo of Butorac and Soares though came up with a better show in the second set, putting pressure on their opponents' serve. After both the pairs exchanged breaks, the set moved into a tie-breaker.

Paes and Stepanek did well to take a 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker and then held on to their nerves to win it 7-4. They will next take on second seeds Belarus' Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor of Canada for a place in the final.

Paes and his Russian partner Vesnina, meanwhile, downed unseeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in straight sets 6-3 7-5.

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