Paes-Stepanek make winning start at World Tour Final
Paes and Stepanek began their campaign with a straight set win over Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Roger.
London: Third seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek began their campaign at the season-ending World Tour Final with a straight set win over seventh seeds Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Roger, here.
The Indo-Czech pair got the better of Pakistan-Dutch combo, runners-up at Paris Masters last week, 6-4, 7-5 in their opening Group A match. Stepanek, making debut at the event, saved one break point on sudden death deuce in the second game. Rojer recovered from 30/40 at 3-3, before Qureshi was broken to 30 as Stepanek and Paes produced solid returns and attacked the net.
The Czech closed out the 41-minute set with his second ace. Five points went against serve in the first six game of the second set, with Paes and Qureshi surviving sudden death deuces in the second and fifth games.
Stepanek won four straight points from 15/40 at 3-4, giving the Czech and Paes the impetus they needed to break Rojer to love for a 6-5 lead. Once again Stepanek closed out the set for victory.
Qureshi and Rojer were left to rue missing out on six break point opportunities. The Indian pair of Mahesh Bupathi and Rohan Bopanna had lost their first Group B match to Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielse.