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Paes-Bhupathi makes semis
M.R. Mishra

Athens, August 18
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi stormed their way into the men's doubles semifinals in the Olympic Games tennis tournament today to bring belated cheer to the Indian camp which was confronted by reverses on all other fronts.

The fifth-seeded 'Indian Express' steamrolled Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett of Zimababwe 6-4, 6-4 in 89 minutes to reach the last four at the Olympic tennis complex.

The star tennis duo's quarterfinal victory came as a balm to the Indian camp which suffered setbacks in athletics, women's weightlifting, swimming, sailing and women's archery.

Sydney games bronze winner Karnam Malleswari and men's shot put national champion Bahadur Singh dished out super flop shows to dampen the soaring spirit of the Indian contingent.

Paes and Bhupathi took early control of the game by breaking the Zimbabweans in the seventh game to pocket the first set in just 35 minutes.

The first set debacle demoralised the Zimbabweans as they committed a number of unforced errors in the second game, which was again claimed by the Indians but with a little more sweat.

Paes and Bhupathi, the former world No 1 doubles pair, have gone through three matches without conceding a break so far which has brought them within sniffing distance of an Olympic medal.

Black seemed to be a trifle off colour as he missed out on hisshots an d often sent the ball crashing into the net. His poor form seemd to be contagious as Ullyett also began to play a little eratically making things that much easier for the Indian pair looking to win their first gold medal in the Olympics. PTI
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