It is a dream victory for us: Paes


New Delhi : Indian Davis Cup captain Leander Paes Saturday said that winning the tie against formidable Japan within two days is a dream come true for the entire team.

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Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, teamed up Saturday to beat Takao Suzuki and Satoshi Iwabuchi 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to pocket the tie 3-0 in the hosts’ favour after Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj won their opening day’s singles to give a 2-0 lead Friday.

With this win, India have qualified for the World Group play-off after three years when they lost 1-3 to Sweden. They last played in the main draw of World Group in 1998.

“It was dream come true for us. It was a fairly convincing win and I am looking forward to playing in the World Group play-off which is a great chance for us to progress to the elite World Group,” Paes told reporters.

The 35-year-old veteran Davis Cupper said they expected a tough fight from he Japanese in the doubles, but it turned out to be a smooth sailing.

“I struggled with my returns in the second set. Apart from that it was pretty smooth. We had a comfortable run in the fourth and the fifth sets. I expected them to come with more fire and give us a tougher fight,” said Paes.

He also said he was happy that his prediction that India would not have to
stretch till the fifth match came true.

Paes said it was wonderful playing alongside Bhupathi after a long time.

“Playing with Mahesh after a long time was wonderful. Though we have not played with each other for more than a year, we were in the rhythm right from the start. We played solid tennis,” he said.

Bhupathi, however, was more diplomatic and said: “We have been playing doubles for a long time with each other or without each other.”

“Once we lost the second set, we could not afford to let it go. We communicated with each other and got the rhythm back,” he added.

Asked about the duo’s preparation before the Beijing Olympics, Bhupathi said: “Olympic is a big occasion. Preparation will happen when it happens.”

Though they won, the chemistry between the two was not too apparent.

Asked about those chest bumps, which were missing from their game, Bhupathi said: “We only do it when we feel like doing it and not when people want us to do.”

He also said that controversial circumstances have always brought the best out of them, be it Doha Asiad or build up to their ongoing Davis Cup tie.