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Stepanek and Paes book place in third round

Radek Stepanek advances with a forehand
by Michael Beattie
Saturday 28 June 2014

Days after entertaining the Centre Court crowd with a sprited display against Novak Djokovic, Radek Stepanek was back on court alongside Leander Paes to book their spot in the third round of the Gentlemen’s Doubles in a rain-affected marathon 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 win over Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky.

The No.5 seeds’ victory, one of just two doubles matches to survive an order of play decimated by inclement weather on Saturday at The Championships. Gonzalez and Lipsky were leading 2-1 in the first set on Court 10 when the heavens opened, and snatched the sole break point of the opener to hit the front.

The Indian-Czech duo hit back in style in the second but again found themselves a set down as the fourth began, fighting back once more to take the match into a decider. Gonzalez and Lipsky had their chances to surge ahead but It was the veteran duo who sealed the crucial break with darkness descending across the All England Club to book a fourth round showdown with 11th seeds Jean-Julien Roger and Horia Tecau or Feliciano Lopez and Jurgen Melzer.

In the Ladies’ doubles, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova came from a set down to defeat Cara Black and Sania Mirza 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 on Court 11 in two hours 29 minutes. After the No.4 seeds had claimed a comfortable opening set, the Czech-Russian pair clinched a nerve-jangling tie-break before sealing the deciding set in just shy of an hour.

Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova finished the match with four fewer points than their opponents, but eight aces and 12 winners at the right times were enough to seal their place in the third round, where they will face Flavia Pennetta and Sam Stosur.

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