Paes, Bhupathi face off in Montreal quarter-finals


Montreal : India’s doubles specialists Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi will be on court together at the Montreal Masters but will face each other across the net in the quarter-finals.

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The fourth seeded pair of Paes and Martin Damm received a second round walk-over from the Canadian duo of Frank Dancevic and Frederic Niemeyer who pulled out. Niemeyer complained of lower back pain, which kept the wild card pairing off the court.

Bhupathi and Pavel Vizner of the Czech Republic, seeded eighth, had advanced to the last eight with a hard-fought 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 10-8 victory Wednesday against Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia and Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

The top seeded doubles team of Americans Bob and Mike Bryan pulled through in a challenging second round against Roger Federer and partner Yves Allegro, prevailing over the Swiss duo 7-6(7), 6-7(8), 10-8 in an hour and 38 minutes.

The Bryans had faced Federer four times previously, but not since he became world number one in February 2004 or since they became the world’s top doubles team.

In 2001 the Bryans defeated Federer, partnering Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden, in Rome and Hamburg, where the Swiss was paired with Mike O’Brien. But in 2002 the brothers lost to Federer in Indian Wells where he played alongside Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Rome, where he had Briton Tim Henman as partner.

Last year’s finalists, fifth seeds Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett, opened their week with a 6-3, 6-2 win over the Serbian duo of Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic. Ullyett won the 2005 doubles title with Wayne Black when the Masters were last held in Montreal.

Sixth-seeded Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram advanced to the quarterfinals when Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Rafael Nadal of Spain withdrew prior to their second round match. The Spaniard had a sore left arm.