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Bhupathi-Knowles cruise to Miami finals

Miami, Apr 4: In a see-saw battle, fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles held their nerves to overcome sixth seeds Martin Damm and Pavel Vizner's challenge as the Indo-Bahamian pair moved in the finals of the 3,77,0000 dollars Sony Ericsson Open here.

Bhupathi and Knowles saved three match points in the match tie-break to beat their Czech rivals 7-6(5), 4-6, 11-9 in a thrilling encounter yesterday.
The Indo-Bahamas pair rallied from behind and were trailing 6-9 but went on to win five straight points to seal their fate for the finals.
The fourth seed duo will now take on defending champions Bryan brothers after the American pair strolled in to final with a 6-1, 6-4 win over unseeded Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moodie of South Africa.

In the keenly-contested battle, Bhupathi and Knowles won the opening set's tie-breaker 7-5 in which both teams exchanged breaks one after the other.

The Czech pair returned back in the match to win the second set 6-4 after gaining a 4-2 lead against the Indo-Bahamian pair.

The final set was another thriller in which Bhupathi and Knowles fell behind 6-9. But the pair exhibited great skills as Damm and Vizner succumed to the pressure and lost two points on their own serve.

However, Bhupathi and Knowles held both their serves and won the battle that lasted for an hour and 50 minutes.

The Indian star along with his Bahamian partner has now won won 14 of the last 15 matches which included back to back titles in Memphis and Dubai before they went down to Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram in the quarterfinals at the Indian Wells.

While defending champions Bryan brothers, have finished runner-up at Sydney, San Jose, Las Vegas and Delray Beach this year and will surely look to lift their first title in 2008 season.


Story first published: Friday, April 4, 2008, 14:04 [IST]
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