New York: India’s ace tennis player Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek cruised into the final of US Open men’s doubles after Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez retired in the first set of the semi-final clash here at the Flushing Meadows.
The scoreline read 6-6, when the sixth-seeded Spaniards retired against the fifth seeded Indo-Czech pair here Thursday.
In Friday’s final, Paes and Stepanek will be facing the second seeded American twins Mike and Bon Bryan, who are staring at their 12th Grand Slam title. Paes-Stepanek beat the Bryans in this year’s Australian Open final and the teams have split the four matches they’ve played this year.
The Bryan brothers beat the ninth seeded Pakistani-Dutch pairing of Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-3, 6-4.
Paes said he felt for Marc. “I feel sorry for Marc. We all come here to entertain you and they are great guys,” Paes said. “I have a great partner. He really pushed me today and pulled the whip out, which is probably what I needed. We are looking forward to the final.”
In the other semi-final, Mike and Bob never lost serve while earning 11 break point chances against Qureshi and Rojer. Although they only converted on two of them, one break of Qureshi’s serve in each set was all they needed to move into their fifth US Open doubles final with a routine 6-3 6-4 win.
“We played great today and are so excited to be in another US Open final,” said Mike. “We usually don’t sleep well before big matches, but we’re going to go out there tomorrow and give it hell.”
The Bryan brothers have won the US Open three times, in 2005, 2008 and 2010, while also reaching the finals in 2003.
In addition, Mike won the US Open mixed title in 2002 (with Lisa Raymond) while Bob has won it four times in 2003 (with Katarina Srebotnik), 2004 (with Vera Zvonareva), 2006 (with Martina Navratilova) and 2010 (with Liezel Huber).
“Radek is a great returner and Leander has some of the quickest hands on tour,” said Bob. “We’ve played Leander dozens of times in big matches all over the world, so we know what to expect at this point. Every match we played against them this year has been close, so it’s just going to be who plays better on the day,” he added.