Indian tennis pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi entered the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a fighting three-set win over Spanish combination of Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo in the third round of the men’s doubles event here today.
Paes and Bhupathi, who teamed up together after nine years in a bid to add the only Grand Slam title - the Australian Open - missing in their cupboard, had to play out of the skin to get the better of 13th seeds Granollers and Robredo 6-4 4-6 6-4 in an engrossing one hour and 52 minutes encounter.
In the quarterfinals, the third seeded Indian pair will play the winners of the match between Indo-Pak pair of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi and French-Serbian combination of Micheal Lodra and Nenad Zimonjic.
Paes and Bhupathi started the match positively as they pocketed the first set in just 33 minutes.
But Granollers and Robredo made a strong comeback in the second to take the encounter into the decider which the Indians won after a 42 minute battle.
The highlight of Paes and Bhupathi’s game today was their cent percent break point conversion. The Indian pair made use of the two opportunities that came their way while their opponents could only manage two out of four chances.
Paes and Bhupathi, however, will have to get their acts together in the last eight round and avoid committing unforced errors, which they did 18 times today as against their rival’s eight.