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Paes-Bhupathi win the Chennai Open Doubles Title

The Indian duo of Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi made a perfect start to their comeback as a team, by winning the Chennai Open Double title, beating Robin Hasse and David Martin 6-2, 6-7, 10-7, in an exciting and nail-biting final. Even though the Chennai Open is not a huge tournament in terms of the quality of the playing field, this victory would give Paes-Bhupathi a great boost as they have come together after a nine year hiatus, to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics. The most heartening thing for the Indian tennis fans is that when the match got close in the third set tie-break, Paes-Bhupathi played some exhilarating tennis and the trademark chest-thump, the aggression and commitment, which had once made them a feared doubles pair back 10 years ago, were well and truly back.

Source: aircelchennaiopen.org

Paes-Bhupathi were a real force to reckon with in late nineties until 2001-02, before they split up as a pair and decided to go on their own individual courses. Paes-Bhupathi had won 3 Grand Slam titles together, including 2 French Open and 1 Wimbledon titles. They also reached the final of all 4 Grand Slams in the year 1999, winning 2 of them, apart from winning many other ATP titles. They were on course to become one of the great doubles pairs, but as destiny would have it, they split up in 2002 citing personal reasons. Since, then, Paes and Bhupathi have played with different partners and have achieved decent success in Doubles and Mixed Doubles, but as a team, they have only come together when playing for India in tournaments like Davis Cup, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Olympics and so on. This is the first time after the split that they have decided to play the full season together in their quest for winning India the first ever Gold Medal in Tennis at the Olympics.

Paes and Bhupathi were pretty happy after the win and said:

Paes said:

“It’s a great feeling to win this tournament back home. We have already won 4 times at this event and we also won the Davis cup in Chennai in 2010. After a nine year break, it’s a great way to start off, don’t you think?”

Bhupathi said:

“I would like to thank everyone behind the scenes for making this event possible. We hope to play together in India again and we are extremely happy to have won the Doubles title at the Aircel Chennai open once again.”

Next up for this great Indian pair, popularly called the Indian Express, is the first Grand Slam of the Year, the Australian Open, which begins on 17th January. We must understand that it is not an easy task to suddenly come together after a long break and compete against the top teams in the world. Hence, we must not expect too much and have patience till Paes-Bhupathi find their groove together and try and recreate the magic of the past. Anyways, it was fascinating to watch these 2 great Indian tennis players come together and bring back some of the golden memories. All Indians would hope that this is just the beginning and is a sign of things to come…

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