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Antics and artistry: the invitational doubles

Mansour Bahrami up to his old tricks
by Stuart Appleby
Wednesday 3 July 2013

Nowadays, we're more used to seeing John and Patrick McEnroe on our screens as pundits and analysts for the BBC and ESPN rather than on the court, but they have returned, to the delight of many spectators around The All England Club.

The brothers's fledging sibling partnership in the senior gentlemen's invitational doubles gathered pace on Wednesday as they won their second match in as many days.

The McEnroes, who are unseeded, having not played in the event last year, raced to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over crowd-pleasing entertainers, Henri Leconte and Mansour Bahrami on Court No.3. The win was almost a carbon-copy of their victory against veteran Australian doubles pair, Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee on Tuesday, who between them won five Wimbledon doubles titles (four gentlemen's doubles and one mixed doubles).

If they continue in this rich vein of form, the McEnroes could face No.1 seeds and defending champions, Pat Cash and Mark Woodforde, in the final. The Australians are in Group A, but still have two matches to complete following their opening win.

Elsewhere, Andrew Castle and Guy Forget teamed up on Court 14 to defeat the American pair of doubles specialist Peter Fleming and two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Johan Kriek. To stand any chance of advancing through to the final, Castle and Forget would need to beat Cash and Woodforde, in what could be a winner-takes-all final group match.

In the ladies' invitational doubles, defending champions, Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis all but secured their place in the final by beating Tracy Austin and Helena Sukova. The 1999 and 1997 Wimbledon ladies' singles winners won 6-7, 7-5 on Court 18. With two wins out of two and one remaining Group A match left to play, against Rennae Stubbs and Andrea Temesvari, it would take a strange turn of events for them not to make the final.

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