New York, Sep 8: Doubles tennis aces Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna have ensured that at least one Indian will play the final of the US Open after both reached the mixed doubles semi-finals where they will play against each other.
Bopanna and Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei had to earn a hard fought three-set win over Chinese Taipei-Finnish pair of Su-Wei Hsieh and Henri Kontinen. The second seeds won the quarter-final 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 13-11 in an hour and 50 minutes on Court 17 of the Flushing Meadows here on Monday (September 7).
After sharing the first two sets, Chan and Bopanna held their nerve at the right moment to beat the unseeded Hsieh and Kontinen in the super tie-break.
Overall, the seconds seeds were the better pair during the 110-minute encounter. Bopanna and Chan served 18 aces to that of five of their opponents. Also at 50, they had 23 more winners than the unseeded combine.
Later in another quarterfinal, fourth seeds Paes and Swiss Martina Hingis were given a walkover by Romanian pair of Simona Halep and Horia Tecau.
Much earlier in the day at the Louis Armstrong Stadium, Bopanna also advanced to the men's doubles quarter-finals with Romanian partner Florin Mergea. The sixth seeds took two hours and four minutes to beat Canadian-French ninth seeds Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3 in Round 3.
After losing the first set tie-break, Bopanna and Mergea came back strongly to win a breakpoint chance in the second set which was enough to seal the deal and push the match into the decider.
They were even better - both at the net and baseline - in the third set where they broke Nestor and Roger-Vasselin twice to easily win the set and match, and advance into the last eight stage.
The sixth seeds will next take on British-Swede pairing of Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt for a place in the semis.
In the junior category, Karman Kaur Thandi won her girls singles first round by beating German 16th seed Katharina Hobgarski 6-3, 7-6 (3).
She returned to play the girls doubles first round with Greek Eleni Christofi, expecting a similar result, but went down to Australian duo of Kimberly Birrell and Maddison Inglis 3-6, 5-7.
Indian 15th seed Pranjala Yadlapalli also lost her girls singles first round to Greek Valentini Grammatikopoulou 6-7(1), 3-6.