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Perfect day for Indians at Australian Open

January 28, 2009 15:34 IST

Indian players had a brilliant day at the Australian Open amid soaring temperatures, Leander Paes advancing to the men's doubles semi-finals and Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza also making the last-four stage in the mixed doubles in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy, seeded fourth, quelled a late challenge from unseeded Italians Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi, to win their quarter-final 6-1, 7-6 (5).

They now square off against the winners of an all-American quarter-final between second-seeded brothers Bob and Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish and John Isner.

Paes and Dlouhy took just 21 minutes to seal the opening set, converting two of the six break-points they earned in the process.

The Italians staged a comeback in the second set and took it to tie breaker, but the more experienced Paes and Dlouhy held their nerves to wrap it up in 47 minutes.

Earlier, Sania and Mahesh rallied to beat Canadians Aleksandra Wozniak and Daniel Nestor and seal a semi-final berth.

The unseeded Indian pair overcame a first-set lapse to carve out a 3-6, 6-4, 10-5 win in an hour and 15 minutes.

Sania and Bhupathi, runners-up last year, dropped serve twice in the first set and wasted a break-point to hand the opener to their opponents.

In the next set, they missed chances aplenty but were successful in converting three break-points out of the seven they got to make it 1-1.

They then won the super-tie breaker comfortably to set up a meeting with the Czech pair of Iveta Benesova and Lukas Dlouhy.

In the juniors' event, top seed Yuki Bhambri extended his winning run to the quarter-finals after defeating 13th seed Croat Dino Marcan 6-3, 6-1 in the pre-quarter-finals of the boys' singles.

Yuki, along with Liang-Chi Huang of Taipei, was also scheduled to compete in the boys' doubles quarter-finals but the match was cancelled due to excruciating heat.

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