NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leander Paes rekindled his love affair with the U.S. Open on Wednesday as for the second year running, he made it through to two doubles finals at Flushing Meadows.
There is something about Arthur Ashe Stadium that brings out the ‘A Game’ in Paes and on day 10 of the hardcourt major, he punched away a volley to secure a 6-4 3-6 7-6 win with his partner Lukas Dlouhy to knock out top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan.
“This crowd is just magic, I hope you show up again,” the 36-year-old Paes told the fans after raising his fists in celebration.
He won less than 24 hours after reaching the mixed doubles showpiece with Zimbabwean Cara Black.
Twelve months ago Paes suffered mixed fortunes in the finals when he and Black went on to pick up the trophy but he faltered with Dlouhy in the men’s doubles showpiece.
On Wednesday, Indo-Czech pair steamed to a 5-1 lead in the deciding tiebreak only to see the Americans wipe away the advantage.
After watching five match points vanish, Paes made no mistake on the sixth and left the Bryan twins flat-footed as he sent a volley flying through the middle of the court.
“Last year we were in the final and we are still going this great year,” said the 26-year-old Dlouhy, who won his first doubles crown with Paes at the French Open in June.
Paes will get his first chance to increase his tally of nine grand slam crowns on Thursday when he and Black take on the Americans Carly Gullickson and Travis Parrott in the mixed finale on Thursday.
In the men’s showpiece, he could face his former partner Mahesh Bhupathi if he and Mark Knowles beat Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram in the other semi.
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