Paes-Bhupathi advance to pre-quarters

India's star doubles duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi steamrolled their way into the Asian Games men's tennis doubles pre-quarterfinals.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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Doha:as they worked their way to a convincing 6-0, 6-4 victory over Hiu Tung Yu and Wing Leun Wayne Wong at the Khalifa International stadium. The two estranged friends showed that the on-court chemistry was still working between them as they took just 57 minutes to send the Hong Kong pair packing in a lopsided encounter. The Indian pair, once described as the "Indian Express", broke the their opponents in the first, third and fifth games to wrap up the first set in just 15 minutes. Wong and Hu put up a slightly better show in the second set as they raced to a 3-0 lead by breaking the star Indians in the second game. But the Indians bounced by breaking their rivals in the fifth game to level the score 3-3 and then forged ahead to clinch the set, capitalising on an unforced error by Wong. Both Leander and Bhupathi went about their task in a professional manner and were seen talking to each other between points and encouraging each other right through the contest. "We served really well today and we had to step up our game because we are playing for the country. We just put that (recent spat) behind us, like it was a bad day in office," Paes said. "We played a high level of tennis in the first set, but in the second there was one game that was not good, we missed a few volleys," Bhupathi remarked. Difficult task Eighth seeded Rohan Bopanna, however, had to bite the dust in the men's singles event, going down to China's Peng Sun with a 3-6, 3-6 margin in a contest that lasted one hour and 15 minutes. The 26-year-old Bopanna could not acclimatise to the conditions and committed a number of unforced errors to give the Chinese an easy passage to the pre-quarterfinals. Bopanna then teamed up with Mustafa Ghouse to dispose of Bahrain's Abdulrahaman Shehab and Abdul Latif Mohammed with a 6-2, 6-1 verdict to cruise into the men's doubles pre-quarter finals. "I was not comfortable with the sun and the wind, and I didn't play well in the singles earlier today. But in the doubles, I played well because I have played with my partner many times before, and we know each other well," Bopanna said after the doubles match. The strong winds blowing across the stadium made the task a little difficult for the players. (PTI)

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