Leander and Radek reach final


New York: India's Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek on Friday entered the doubles final of the US Open.

The fifth-seeded duo prevailed upon the sixth-seeded Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez when the latter retired with the scoreline reading 6-6. They will face the winners of the other semi-final between second-seeded Americans Bob and Mike Bryan and the Pakistan-Dutch pairing of Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in Friday's final.

"I feel sorry for Marc. We all come here to entertain you and they are great guys," Paes said.

"I have a great partner. He really pushed me today and pulled the whip out, which is probably what I needed. We are looking forward to the final."

Earlier, Paes and Stepanek stormed into the semi-finals after getting the better of Julian Knowle of Austria and Slovakia's Filip Polasek 6-2, 6-4 in just 74 minutes.

Meanwhile, a last-second addition to the mixed doubles field, Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares are now Grand Slam champions.

The unseeded duo beat Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski 6-7 (8), 6-1, 12-10 tiebreak in Thursday's final.

Soares, a 30-year-old Brazilian doubles specialist, had turned down Makarova before the Open because he was set to play with his regular partner, Australian Jarmila Gajdosova. But with the minutes ticking down to sign up for the tournament, he realised they didn't have a good enough ranking to get in. If he teamed with Makarova, with whom he had played a couple of times before, they'd get in.

Soares sent his coach scrambling to try to find the Russian on the practice courts.

"He went running all the way over there and talked to her and called me like 30 seconds to go and said, 'You can sign,'" Soares recalled. (agencies)