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Australian Open 2018: Leander Paes and Purav Raja showcase stellar tennis to progress

Australian Open 2018: Leander Paes and Purav Raja showcase stellar tennis to progress

Anjali Banerjee

Published: 19 Jan 2018 11:56 PM GMT
A cloudy morning at Melbourne Park was suddenly lit up when the Indian duo of Leander Paes and Purav Raja pulled off a scintillating upset edging past the fifth seeds duo of Jamie Murray/ Bruno Soares in a three-set thrilling duel. The unseeded pair of Paes and Raja defeated the 2016 Australian Open champions, Britain's Jamie Murray and Brazil's Bruno Soares 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 in nearly three hours on Court 2 at Melbourne Park. The first set saw a stellar net play from the 44-year-old Leander Paes who showcased his vintage best proving all along that age is just a number. The five double faults from the combine of Murray-Soares gifted the Indian pair the first set despite hitting only 11 winners as compared to Murray/Soares's 19. The Indian pair was clearly making Soares/Murray work hard in the second set too. Displaying some commendable volleys, Paes and Raja were keeping it close. But fending off 5 break-points, the duo of Soares and Murray bagged the second set.
The Match slid into a decider where a super smash from Leander after an 18 shot long rally gave the Indian duo a crucial hold and a lead of 4-3. Against a fired up Soares/ Murray, the TB in the decider was inevitable. An electrifying and charged up Leander shrugged off a Match point and levelled the tie-break to 6-6 and ultimately got the break to clinch the match 7-6. Knocking out the most consistent team of J Murray and Bruno Soares and storming into the Third round, the Indian duo proves that they have some stellar tennis to showcase on the illustrious stage time and again. Leander and Raja will take on Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the next round. India's Divij Sharan/Rajeev Ram is also thru to the third round along with Rohan Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin also making it there after beating their respective rivals.
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