Indian tennis veteran Mahesh Bhupathi, teaming up with compatriot Saketh Myneni, on Wednesday won a hard fought doubles pre-quarterfinal match to set up a mouth-watering clash with his former partner Leander Paes at the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament here.
The Indian fans’ hopes of seeing their tennis heroes Bhupathi and Paes play against each other for the second time in the country came true with Bhupathi and Myneni getting the better of Sood Brothers, Chandril and Lakshit, 6-7, 6-4, 10-6 in the pre-quarterfinal.
Paes, teaming up with South African partner Raven Klaasen, will face-off with the Bhupathi-Myneni duo in the quarterfinals late tomorrow night.
Bhupathi, considered as India’s top doubles specialist, returned to courts today after March 2014, when he played in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami with Kevin Anderson.
Bhupathi, who has won a staggering 52 career doubles titles, seemed out of sorts and short on practice for the tournament.
He double faulted on the match point tonight and the end was dragged for long. Bhupathi and Myneni took 92 minutes to emerge victorious today.
Teaming up with Paes in the past, Bhupathi won the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open title when India’s most famous doubles pair reunited on the professional tour at the start of the 2011 season after a gap of nine years, to win a record fifth title in the event.
Talented Myneni, who played a better game today, has attained a career high doubles ranking of 154 last month.
He made his Indian Davis Cup debut at the 2014 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I Tie with Chinese Taipei, where he partnered Rohan Bopanna in the doubles.
Myneni won Gold and Silver medals at Incheon Asian Games 2014 in Mixed doubles and Men’s doubles events, in which he partnered Sania Mirza and Sanam Singh respectively.
The Sood brothers were lucky to play today’s main draw match as an alternative after Alejandro Falla and Alejandro Gonzalez withdrew due to a shoulder injury to latter.