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Paes and Stepanek win Australian Open doubles title
January 28, 2012 / 12:55 PM / 6 years ago

Paes and Stepanek win Australian Open doubles title

Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic celebrates with his partner Leander Paes of India after they defeated Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 28, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek upset Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 6-2 to win the Australian Open doubles title on Saturday and foil the American twins’ bid for a record 12th grand slam crown.

India’s Paes and Czech Stepanek, playing in their fourth tour event, broke the Bryans early in the second set and cruised to victory in front of a small but vocal crowd at Rod Laver Arena.

Paes beat the Bryans for the first time in a final after five straight losses, including three at Melbourne Park, and completed a career grand slam of men’s doubles titles.

“I know what this tournament means for him, because only this title was missing in his career grand slam,” his partner Stepanek said at the presentation ceremony.

Mike Bryan hits a return during his men's doubles final match with Bob Bryan against Leander Paes of India (R) and Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 28, 2012. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“And I am happy and honored to play by your side.”

The Bryan brothers remain level with Australian doubles greats Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge’s 11 grand slam titles.

Bob Bryan played out the final on the same day his wife Michelle was due to give birth to their first child.

He said the moment had not yet arrived and hoped to rush back in time to be by her side.

“Thanks baby, thanks for holding it in for me!” he said to chuckles from the crowd.

Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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