Dubai: Former two-time Dubai champion Leander Paes continued beating the odds as he teamed up with American Jamie Cerretani to book a semi-final spot at the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open late on Thursday.
Paes, who won here in 1998 with Mahesh Bhupathi and then in 2003 with David Rikl, is by far the oldest doubles player on the men’s tour at 44 years. After opening with a win against alternates Andrea Haider-Maurer and Florian Mayer late on Wednesday, the Indo-American pairing was at their best with yet another hard-fought encounter while winning 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 knocking off the fourth seeded pair of Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus.
Paes and Cerretani will now run into unseeded Damir Dzumhur and Filip Krajinovic in Friday’s semi-final on centre court. Dzumhur and Krajinovic had become the first pairing into the last four stage of the doubles competition late on Wednesday following a walkover from Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hughes Herbert.
In the lower half of the draw, second seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau stayed on course with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Poland’s Marcin Matkowski and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. The last of the semi-finalists was to be confirmed later in the night with Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop playing third seeded Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram.
Jamie Cerretani/Leander Paes bt Raven Klaasen/Michael Venus 2-6, 6-4, 10-7; Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau bt Marcin Matkowski/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 6-4; Damir Dzumhur/Filip Krajinovic bt Richard Gasquet/Pierre-Hughes Herbert (walkover)