Winston-Salem (USA): Veteran Leander Paesbrushed off the disappointment of Rio Olympics as he and his German partner Andre Begemann made it to the final of the ATP Winston-Salem Open beating Swede Robert Lindstedt and Pakistan’s Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi in a close encounter.
The Indo-German pair won 1-6 7-6 10-4 courtesy super tie-break. The duo will be meeting Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Finland’s Henri Kontinen. The Spanish-Finn pair beat had an easy outing in the semi-finals beating Croatia’s Mate Pavic and New Zealand’s Michael Venus 7-6 6-3.
In the semi-final match, Paes and Begemann were broken twice as they surrendered the first set 1-6. In the second set, Paes-Begemann did well to hold their serve before clinching the tie-breaker as the Indian legend and seven-time Olympian was again at his best at the net. Paes’ experience and younger legs of 32-year-old Begemann came to the fore in the super tie-break as they converted the mini-breaks effectively to close in the match.
Paes will be playing his first final of the season on ATP Tour. The 43-year-old legend, who has had to play a number of Challenger level tournaments this season, has seen his ranking plummet to 72. He won two titles – Biella (Italy) and Busan (Korea) — on the Challenger circuit. Before this, reaching the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open with Jeremy Chardy was Paes’ best show this season. They had lost to Mike and Bob Bryan. PTI
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