The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mahesh-Elena in title-round

Calcutta: It was a day of mixed emotions for Indians at the French Open Thursday. While the Leander Paes-David Rikl pair bowed out from the menís doubles, Mahesh Bhupathi, Paesí former partner, and the person who he beat in the menís doubles, moved into the mixed doubles final.

Bhupathi and his Russian partner Elena Likhovtseva swept into the final of the mixed doubles, according to information received here. On their way the third seeds beat the top-seeded Australian-Argentine pair of Todd Woodbridge and Paola Suarez 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in the semi-finals.

Paes-Rikl out

Paesí loss came almost as an anti-climax. After the emotional come-from-behind triumph over Bhupathi, a straight-set defeat in the French Open semi-finals was the last thing Paesí fans had been expecting.

Fifth seeds Paes and Rikl lost 4-6, 3-6 to No. 3 Bob and Mike Bryan Thursday. The Indian struggled with his serving. He got broken in game 2 to give the Americans a 2-0 advantage.

The Indo-Czech pair broke back immediately, capturing Mikeís serve. But Paes dropped serve again, in the sixth game, to give the Bryan twins back the initiative.

In the second set, it was Riklís turn to slip. The Czech left-hander lost serve in game 6 and the Americans capitalised on that single service-break to seal the match. Paes had tripped at the same stage last year in Paris. Playing with another Czech Tomas Cibulec, he had lost in two close sets to Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor.

Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi, too, were eliminated in the semis in 2002, by Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Paul Haarhuis.

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