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Paes, Sania reach quarter finals

New York: Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, fought their way into the men’s doubles quarter-finals while Sania Mirza and Jie Zheng hardly broke a sweat to book a berth in the women’s doubles last-eight stage, here on Sunday.

Paes and his Czech partner, seeded fourth, had to battle for two hours and 12 minutes to overcome 14th seeded veteran French pair of Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Up next for Paes and Stepanek could be India’s Divij Sharan and his Taipei partner Yen-Hsun Lu. The duo defeated the Israeli team of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-2) in a hard-fought contest.

Divij and Lu have a tough match on hand as they face Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and the Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer, a combination that is seeded fifth in the season’s final Grand Slam.

Sania and China’s Zheng, seeded 10th, took out sixth seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 12 minutes.

Sania and Zheng never faced a break point in the match, and broke their rivals twice in each set to move to the last- eight stage.

In the Paes-Stepanek match, after trading breaks, the opening set was on serve till the 11th game. The Indo-Czech duo had their first set point in the next game but Stepanek hit a forehand to net.

However, the Czech hit a volley winner to earn third set point, which they converted to shoot ahead.

The French pair never looked back after that and Llodra served out the set in the 10th game to make it an even affair.

The keenly fought third set turned in Paes-Stepanek’s favour when the Czech hit a winner to earn a break and Mahut helped the rivals when he hit a forehand return to net.

Llodra hit one long to hand Paes and Stepanek two match points and Paes finished it off in style with an ace.

Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who are seeded sixth, got the better of Russians Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Elgin 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-0) in another evenly-contested match.

Bopanna and Edouard’s next opponents are 12th seeded Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray of Britain.