Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek stunned second seeds Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Canadian Daniel Nestor 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to enter the final of the men's doubles event at the Australian Open here on Thursday.
Paes also made the mixed doubles semifinal with Elena Vesnina, the Indo-Russian combine getting the better of Rohan Bopanna and Lisa Raymond 6-2, 6-2. Paes and Stepanek, unseeded here, fought brilliantly and came from a set down to get the better of Mirnyi and Nestor in a marathon semifinal encounter that lasted two hours and 13 minutes.
Up next: the Bryans
Paes and Stepanek will now face the top-seeded American pair of Bob and Mike Bryan in the summit clash.
The Bryan brothers too had to play out of their skins to beat seventh seeds Swede Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in the other last four match.
Paes and Stepanek were slow off the blocks in the semifinal against Mirnyi and Nestor.
The Indo-Czech pair looked out of sorts initially and lost their serves twice to hand over the first set 2-6 to their opponents in just 32 minutes.
Paes and Stepanek, however, made a strong comeback in the next set and broke Mirnyi and Nestor once to draw parity.
But it turned out to be a roller-coaster of a deciding set for Paes and Stepanek as they lost their service once but broke their opponents twice out of the four opportunities to seal a place in the title clash.
In the mixed doubles quarterfinals, fifth seeds Paes and Vesnina completely outplayed Bopanna and Raymond, the fourth seeds, wrapping up the match in less than an hour.
A rather easy win
In the opening set, Paes and Vesnina converted two of the six breakpoints to wrap it up comfortably.
It was the same story in the second set as well, as Paes and Vesnina once again managing to break their opponents twice out of the four opportunities to seal their semifinal berth.
Meanwhile, Rutuja Bhosale and her Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi lost their girls' doubles semifinal match, going down 6-3, 6-1 to Americans Gabrielle Andrews and Taylor Townsend.
Keywords: Australian Open