Jan 29, 2009

Sport - Tennis;Bhupathi-Knowles enter doubles final; Paes-Dlouhy lose in semis

MELBOURNE: Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles thrashed Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-1 to reach the final of the men's doubles event of the Aus
tralian Open on Thursday. ( Watch )

The third seed Indo-Bahamian pair proved too good for their unseeded Polish-Austrian opponents as it took them just 58 minutes to win the semi-final encounter.

However, the Indian fans' dream final between Paes and Bhupathi were thrashed, when fourth seeded pair of Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy were outplayed by the American second seed pair of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the other semi-final match.

Bryan brothers took just 53 minutes to cruise into the final as they dispatched the Indo-Czech pair 6-3, 6-3 .

Bhupathi now has a chance to grab his fifth men's doubles Grand Slam title, first Australian Open title and 11th overall as he and his partner take on second seed Americans Bob and Mike Brayan in the final.

It's been a long time that he won a men's doubles title at a Grand Slam event. It was way back in 2002 that he annexed the title at the US Open with Max Mirnyi.

Bhupathi-Knowles broke their rivals once in the first set to take a 1-0 lead and then outplayed them in the second to clinch the issue.

They break them thrice - first, fifth and seventh games - in the second set to race away with the match. The winners put up a sterling show at the net, stood like a wall and defended their post with elan.

Knowles hit a stunning forehand winner to earn a match point which got converted when Marach's attempted winner flew over the baseline.

Among the juniors, top seed Yuki Bhambri quelled a late challenge from Germany's Becker 6-1, 7-5 to reach the boys singles semi-finals.

The teen sensation had reached the semi-finals last year as well.

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