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January 29, 2011

Mahesh Bhupathi

Leander Paes


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How disappointed are you that you still as a pair have yet to win the Australian Open doubles?
LEANDER PAES: You know, we had a great couple of weeks. We had a tough draw. Pretty much played all the best teams in the world getting to the final. Today we lost to the best team on the planet who played lights out today. They served 83% first serves. I thought we started off really well getting up Love-40 on their first service game.
The momentum swung at 15-40 when they hit that forehand up the middle. After that they were great front-runners.
I thought they played the perfect match. As far as Mahesh and myself are concerned, a great two weeks.

Q. You got off to a slow start. Was that because of their good play or did you feel a bit sluggish or nervous?
LEANDER PAES: I thought we got off to a fast start getting them Love-40 down in the first game, but they managed to serve their way out of it. We never played them in the past, and had a chance to break them early.
Once you take the lead, that's when you get them a little bit on the back foot. But today we didn't quite get there. We didn't get a chance to get them on the back foot. Also if you look at not only them serving 83% first serve to our 65, on the breakpoints side they got two of four breakpoints; we got zero of four.
The real difference was really literally about three or four points, and that's what the scoreline shows.

Q. Mahesh, are you going to stay together for the rest of the year and play Grand Slams?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: You know, we've committed to play a few more tournaments. I think the way we're feeling and the way we're playing, there's a good chance we will, yeah.

Q. Will you come back next year?
LEANDER PAES: We'll let you know in about six months (smiling).

Q. What will it depend on whether you come back?
LEANDER PAES: A year is a long time. There's a lot that happens in a year in terms of not only as tennis players. But also in our lives.
So really right now we're looking at one tournament at a time, one week at a time. It will be awesome if you tell us we're going to get a shot in the finals next year as a team. We'd love to be back.
Really, I think right now, still to learn from what we can learn from this match today is what our concentration is on. Plus we have two weeks off now, and then we play Dubai, Palm Springs, and Miami together. So basically we need to keep enjoying the process; need to keep getting better as a team.
We're No. 2 in the world right now. Great start to the year. In two tournaments we've won one and made the final of a Grand Slam. Down the track, take it a step at a time.

Q. Do you think if the Bryans play like today, is there a way to beat them?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Good question. Obviously not. If they can serve 83% and make returns like they did on big points, it's very tough to beat them. That's why they've won 10 Grand Slams, they've won here three years in a row.
It's very hard for them to play like this every day. Give them credit today. If we play them in the final of the French, things can be different.

Q. Do you feel like you're getting closer to beating them at a Grand Slam?
LEANDER PAES: It's the first time we've played them as a team. They played the perfect match. You have to give them tremendous credit the way they got out of that first game Love-40 and served their way right through the match.
Like Mahesh just said, if they had served not 83% but 76% first serves, different story. I thought the caliber of tennis out there was very high today. The level was very high today. Today they came out with a perfect match.
But our job is now to keep enjoying what we do and keep playing this high quality of tennis, and the results will come. I'm not too worried about winning our, what, 13th Grand Slam, or 20th something finals. We just have fun with what we do. As long as we keep each other happy, then we keep playing together.

End of FastScripts

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