London, 4 July-2014, Agencies: Pausing only to come to the rescue of a spectator, Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek fought their way into the semi-finals of the men’s doubles on Wednesday.
Fifth seeded Paes and Stepanek recorded an upset win over third seeds Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia in a quarter final match. The Indo-Czech pair won 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-4. They will now face Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in the semi-finals.
It was two games all in the opening set when the eagle-eyed Indian had spotted a male spectator, seated in a mid-tiered stand, wither in the heat. He held up his hand to halt the match, yelled to a steward and alerted the umpire.
“When I went to the net I didn’t want that guy to distract Radek’s serve,” 41-year-old Paes said. “I first saw him sliding and I thought he was going to get out of his seat so I stopped initially… but then I actually saw him sliding and fall down… I screamed out to the usher.”
Paes picked up an ice-cold bottle of water and ran the length of the court to pass it to a member of the crowd and it reached the right spot. The heart-warming action drew a round of applause from the crowd and the spectator soon recovered enough to slowly rise to his feet.
Sania Mirza and her Romanian partner Horia Tecau sailed into the pre-quarter finals of mixed doubles on Thursday.
Sania and Horia, seeded sixth, outplayed Mate Pavic and Bojana Jovanovski 6-3, 6-3 in a rain-interrupted match that lasted 58 minutes.
Rain had suspended play when the Indo-Romanian pair was leading 4-3 in the opening set in the second round contest but after resumption, Sania and Horia took little time to topple their opponents last night.
The Indo-Romanian pair will now take on the 10th seeded Jamie Murray and Casey Dellacqua.
It was, however, curtains for Rohan Bopanna and his Czech partner Andrea Hlavackova as they lost their second round mixed doubles match.
Seventh seeded Bopanna and Hlavackova conceded the opening set advantage to lose 6-3, 5-7, 3-6 against Russia’s Mikhail Elgin and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia.