The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhupathi to pair up with Eagle

Calcutta, Oct. 26: Mahesh Bhupathi will team up with Australian Joshua Eagle next season. Their association will get off the blocks at the Sydney tournament in January, the week before the Australian Open.

“They will see how it goes in the first three-four months and then review the situation,” said Bhupathi’s coach Enrico Piperno, who will also look after Eagle.

Bhupathi had a roaring year with Max Mirnyi, winning the US Open and making four other finals.

But the successful firm had to be terminated as the Belarussian wanted to concentrate on singles in 2003.

Eagle’s credentials are not as polished as Bhupathi or Mirnyi’s. The 29-year-old right-hander is a doubles specialist but not a top-notch one.

He has five titles under his belt in a career spanning 12 years. Three of those came this season, with Sandon Stolle who is quitting at the end of the season in three weeks’ time.

With two weeks remaining in the calendar, Bhupathi and Mirnyi are No. 3 on the ATP team rankings while Eagle and Stolle are No. 8. In the individual doubles list, Bhupathi is third and Eagle 17th.

Paes eyes Llodra

Leander Paes, meanwhile, is yet to finalise his partner for the ensuing season. He is keen on signing up with 22-year-old Frenchman Mikael Llodra.

“We are still trying to work it out… Hopefully, something will take shape in the next couple of weeks,” Paes said from Paris which hosts a Masters event next week.

Paes has had a forgettable season after Bhupathi split their partnership in March.

A string of first-round losses, including one last week with Michael Hill and St Petersburg, has pushed his ranking to 21.

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