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Paes & Stepanek stumble in final

New York: Bob and Mike Bryan collected a record-equalling 12th Grand Slam men’s doubles title on Friday when they defeated Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open final.

The second-seeded American brothers went level with Australia’s John Newcombe and Tony Roche as the most successful partnership of all time, but out on their own as the best doubles pairing in the Open era.

Friday’s win was their fourth at the US Open, following triumphs in 2005, 2008 and 2010. They also won the 2003 French Open, the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Australian Open titles as well as Wimbledon in 2006 and 2011.

India’s Paes and Czech partner Stepanek had defeated the American duo in the Australian Open final earlier this year.

“It’s unbelievable to tie the record. It won’t sink in for a while. We had to play our best to win today. Leander’s like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age,” said Mike Bryan. “Today we played awesome.”

The Bryans, who had been level with Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge on a best mark of 11 titles in the Open era, dominated the final, achieving a break in each set and 12 break points in total.

Paes and Stepanek didn’t manage one break point in the final, where their 22 unforced errors to just six proved decisive. “These guys always bring magic to the court,” said 39-year-old Paes. “But we put it on the line today and we will come back and keep doing it.”

RESULTS

MEN (QUARTER FINAL)
Novak Djokovic (2, Srb) bt Juan Martin Del Potro (7, Arg) 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-4; David Ferrer (4, Esp) bt Janko Tipsarevic (8, Srb) 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
MEN’S DOUBLES (SEMI-FINAL)
Leander Paes / Radek Stepanek (5, Ind / Cze) bt Marcel Granollers / Marc Lopez (6, Esp) 6-6, retired
MIXED DOUBLES (FINAL)
Ekaterina Makarova / Bruno Soares (Rus / Bra) bt Kveta Peschke / Marcin Matkowski (4, Cze / Pol) 6-7 (8), 6-1, 12-10 tiebreak
Note: Seeded players and Indians only