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Ind-Pak Pair Bopanna-Aisam In Men's Doubles Semis

KARACHI: On a historic day for Pakistan tennis, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi entered the mixed doubles final and the men's doubles semi-finals at the US Open on Tuesday.Qureshi and his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna continued upstaging the
PTI September 08, 2010 22:24 IST
PTI
KARACHI: On a historic day for Pakistan tennis, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi entered the mixed doubles final and the men's doubles semi-finals at the US Open on Tuesday.

Qureshi and his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna continued upstaging the big names of men's doubles tennis as they beat number ten seeds Dick Norman (Belgium) and Wesley Moodie (South Africa) in the quarterfinals.

Backed by a vocal South Asian crowd at the grandstand court in Flushing Meadows, New York, the self-titled ‘Indo-Pak Express' played some aggressive tennis and won the match in straight sets (7-5, 7-6).

Opening the match, Bopanna bagged the first game for his team. From then on, it was an evenly matched contest as both sides kept winning their service games.

Qureshi and Bopanna started to overwhelm their opponents and earned several break points, which were eventually saved by Norman and Moodie. The towering tenth seeds, however, were unable to hold serve at 5-6 when Qureshi and Bopanna sent down sizzling serve returns to break Moodie's serve and win the set 7-5.

A high-intensity second set saw a flurry of aces and winners as both teams did their best to hold serve. The South Asian duo earned a break point at 5-6, when Moodie was serving but it was saved by the Belgian-South African pair to take the match to a tie-break.
 
With the crowd firmly behind them, the Indo-Pak duo lifted their game in the tie-break and dominated the tenth seeds. The aggressive tennis by Qureshi and Bopanna helped them bag the tie-break 7-2 and the match 7-5, 7-6.

The South Asian duo next meet Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina.

This was only the first of the two big wins for Qureshi as he and his Czech partner Kveta Peschke won their semi-final tie against Mark Knwoles and Anna Lena Groenefield late into the night.

Qureshi and Peschke looked rusty in the beginning of the match, allowing their opponents to score winners on Qureshi's serve and went 0-2 down. However, they bounced back in the next game and broke Lena's serve.
 
Thereafter both teams maintained their serving tempo and the set entered a tie-break. Qureshi and Peschke put early pressure on their opponents and set up a mini-break, followed by an eventual first set tie-break win of 7/6 (5).
 
The pulsating second set was also forced into a tie-break, which Qureshi and Peschke won with a 7-6 (4) score to enter the final.
 
They will face the winners of the Liezel Huber-Bob Bryan and Bethanie Mattek Sands-Daniel Nestor match in the final.