Bhupathi-Knowles in men's doubles final

Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles thrashed Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach 6-3 6-1 to reach the final of the men's doubles event of the Australian Open.

updated: January 29, 2009 11:02 IST
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Mahesh Bhupathi earned a shot at his first Australian Open title by reaching the men's doubles final with Mark Knowles while Leander Paes' wait continues after losing his semifinal alongside partner Lukas Dlouhy.

Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Knowles, seeded third, thrashed Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-1 to make the finals of a Grand Slam event together for the first time since forging the partnership in 2008.

In the other semifinal, the fourth seeded Paes-Dlouhy pair lost 3-6, 3-6 to American second seeds Mike and Bob Brayan.

Bhupathi now has a chance to end his drought of men's doubles title at a Grand Slam event as last time he laid hands on a winners trophy was in 2002 at US Open.

The title will also complete Bhupathi's Grand Slam kitty as it is only the Australian Open men's doubles title that has eluded both Bhupathi and Paes so far.

They won French Open and Wimbledon together but annexed the US Open with different partners.

Paes and his Czech partner's fight against the formidable Bryan brothers was over in just 54 minutes, ending Indian hopes of seeing two of its best doubles players fighting for the title.

Paes has not won a men's doubles title at a Grand Slam since winning the US open in 2006 with Martin Damm.

Earlier in the day, the third seed Indo-Bahamian pair proved too good for their unseeded Polish-Austrian opponents as it took them just 58 minutes to win the semifinal encounter.

The winners improved on their last year's performance here as they had lost the semifinals.

This is also for the second time that Bhupathi has reached the final of the Australian Open. Last time he made the finals of the men's doubles at Australian Open was in 1999 with his estranged partner Leander Paes.

Bhupathi now has a chance to grab his fifth men's doubles Grand Slam title and 11th overall.

It's been a long time that he won a men's doubles title at a Grand Slam event. It was way back in 2002 that he annexed the title at the US Open with Max Mirnyi.

Bhupathi-Knowles broke their rivals once in the first set to take a 1-0 lead and then outplayed them in the second to clinch the issue.

They break them thrice first, fifth and seventh games in the second set to race away with the match.

The winners put up a sterling show at the net, stood like a wall and defended their post with elan.

Knowles hit a stunning forehand winner to earn a match point which got converted when Marach's attempted winner flew over the baseline.

Among the juniors, Yuki Bhambri continued his sizzling run as he made the semifinals of both the singles and doubles events as top seed.

In singles, world number two Yuki quelled a late challenge from Germany's Becker 6-1, 7-5 while in the doubles he and Chinese Taipei's Liang-Chi Huang edged past French fifth seed pair of Adrien Puget and Julien Obry 7-6 (4) 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

The teen sensation had reached the semifinals last year as well.