Veteran Indian doubles legend Leander Paes and Purav Raja have made it through to the pre-quarterfinal in the men’s doubles after they knocked out the fifth seeded pairing of Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares at the Australian Open on Saturday in the morning session.
The unseeded Indian pairing beat their more fancied opponents in a marathon 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (6) in two hours, 54 minutes. Paes, who is 44, along with Raja will next play the 11th seeded duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia. The 44-year-old veteran last won the Australian Open in 2012 with Radek Stepanek when they beat the top seeded duo of the Bryan Brothers.
Through the contest Paes and Raja had a better first-serve percentage, but there was little to differentiate between the teams. The Indian pairing though managed to save only two of their seven match points while Murray and Soares saved two of four and forced the first set into a tie breaker where Paes and Raja edged it.
Both sets of players were evenly matched in the following set too, but Paes and Raja's continued to drop break points (5) and it saw them squander the set as Murray and Soares converted one of their two break points to take the contest to the decider.
In the deciding set, the break point bug caught up with Murray and Soares who couldn't convert their only break point, as Paes and Raja took the match to yet another tiebreak. Paes and Raja finally managed to save a match point at 5-6 before sealing the win.