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Paes Wins Tie For India

After several rain delays India won the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I semifinal tie against New Zealand with a marathon effort on the final day by Leander Paes in both doubles and singles


Paes teamed with Mahesh Bhupathi to complete the final set in the doubles match in the morning 6/4 for a total score of 6/4 6/36/4. The first two sets being played last night before darkness set in

In singles Paes went to a rain break ahead 6/4 6/3 and 3-2 ahead in the third set with Nielsen serving 40-15. The Indian number one came out slowly after a three hour delay and as a result lost the following two sets to Nielsen in quick fashion 6/4 6/2 to tie the match at two sets all

"When we came out after the rain he (Nielsen) was running away with it. In the end of the third set and in the fourth he just blew me out of the court," said Paes

After taking a shirt change break between the fourth and the fifth sets Paes returned with his lucky red shirt and this change in clothing seemed to spur Paes along. He broke Nielsen's first two serves to lead the set 5/0

Nielsen held his first serve of the set to take the score to 5/1 before Paes served for the match. In what became the final game of the match Nielsen clawed his way back from 40-0 to take the score to deuce before Paes took the advantage, the match and the tie for India

Paes won the set 6/1 for an eventual scoreline of 6/4 6/3 4/6 2/6 6/1

At the completion of the match, Paes gave credit to his opposition but felt he raised his game at vital times, "I played a really good fifth set I think, all the years of the experience in Davis Cup really showed. I think for Mark it was new territory. I tried to capitalise on that." Nielsen had no answer for the precise shots which Paes delivered during the fifth set. After the match he commented on his dominance in the third and fourth sets, "For a set and a half I didn't do anything wrong," said the Kiwi number one, "but he came out and raised his level." He further summed up Paes' performance by saying, "He's probably got the fastest hands in the world apart form Pat Rafter" The dead rubber match was won by Harsh Mankad over New Zealand number four James Shortall 7/5 6/3 giving the India a 4-1 final scoreline

Final results Doubles (held over match from Saturday) Leander Paes/Mahesh Bhupathi(IND) bt Dan Williman/James Shortall(NZL) 6/4 6/3 6/4 Leander Paes(IND) d Mark Nielsen (NZL) 6/4 6/3 4/6 6/2 6/1 Harsh Mankad (IND) bt James Shortall(NZL) 7/5 6/3


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