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Paes hopes for an encore

Last updated on: September 04, 2008 15:30 IST

Nine years after his twin crowns at Wimbledon, Leander Paes is hoping history to repeat itself at the US Open.

Having reached the finals of both men's and mixed doubles of the US Open, Paes is recalling the 1999 Wimbledon and reckons this is going to be special for him.

"I think 2008 in New York is going to be special," said the Indian ace, after he and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy thumped Argentine pair Maximo Gonzales and Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-0 in just 46 minutes to storm into the men's doubles final.

The former Davis Cup captain and his Zimbabwean teammate Cara Black have already made it to the mixed doubles final. 

In 1999, Paes had partnered Mahesh Bhupathi and Lisa Raymonds to win the men's doubles and mixed doubles crowns at Wimbledon.

"I was much younger back then," said Paes, recalling the feat.

"As you get older, I push my body to new limits and try to raise the bar a few more times," he said.

Paes was particularly happy with the show against the Argentines and said, "When you finish a semi-final of a Grand Slam in 46 minutes, you're always happy.

"It was one of the fastest matches I had in my career. The balls looked like watermellons out there."

Made to play twice on Tuesday, Paes was also happy to get some rest before turning up for the mixed doubles final. 

"They made me play twice and I was scheduled early. Now I can go back and relax," he said.

On his partnership with Dlouhy, Paes said, "It's going very well right now. Lukas is crazy just as I am. He's also very hard working. That's why it's working out so well." 

Though he cherishes all his Grand Slam titles, Paes insists the highlight of his career is the bronze medal he won in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

"Nothing will ever better my Olympic medal," he said.

"Let me remind you it was in singles. That's the epitome of my career," Paes added.

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