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11 December 2023

US doubles pair derail Indian Express


American twins Bob and Mike Bryan derailed the Grand Slam comeback of reunited Indian stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes to win the Australian Open final on Saturday.

The veteran Indians, seeded third and making their Grand Slam return after splitting in 2002, were hoping to add the Australian Open to their three previous major titles and take a step towards a career Grand Slam.

But the "Indian Express" was derailed by the Bryans, who claimed their 10th Grand Slam title together, and their fifth Australian Open in six years with the 6-3, 6-4 win in 1hr 08min.

"It took the best team on the planet to stop this train," Bhupathi said.

The Indians had an opening to level the second set in what turned out to be the final game, but an ace to the Bryans, their ninth of the match, killed off their break point opportunity.

It was their second defeat in a final at Melbourne Park, having lost to Swede Jonas Bjorkman and Australian Pat Rafter back in 1999.
Their last Grand Slam title was at the French Open in 2001.

But Bhupathi said it was great to be back on the court with Paes and that the pair were looking forward to playing together for the rest of the year, adding that the Americans were simply too good.

"There is a reason these guys are the best team in the world," he said. "When they are serving at 83 percent, it is almost impossible to beat them."

Bob Bryan said it was the toughest match for the brothers in some time and that it was great to see two legends of doubles back together.

"We expect to have a lot more big matches against you guys in the future," he said.