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February 22, 2011

Mahesh Bhupathi

Leander Paes


6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did it go?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Obviously a tricky match, you know, playing Novak and his brother. But we just tried to focus on our game, and, you know, try and block the rest out of it. We came out on top.
First match after a few weeks, so happy to start the campaign off here with a win.

Q. What do you think about his brother?
LEANDER PAES: I think his brother's talented. He's got a lot of firepower. Today I don't think he played his best, because I've seen him play before and he's very talented.
We weren't sure which brother he was playing with today before the match, so that was interesting. But Novak is a real champion, and it's nice see him support his own brother play at the professional level. I think that makes it very special.

Q. It must be been a bit different to play against a team which was more supported by the Dubai crowd than you guys?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: We didn't feel it out there. We felt the Indians were quite vocal.
LEANDER PAES: You can't take the Indians on, man. (Smiling.)

Q. Novak said earlier that he was intent on playing more doubles, because he thought it would improve his game in terms of returning and serving and volleying. Do you think that's a good move for him in progressing his singles career perhaps?
LEANDER PAES: I think he's right, because especially with the style of play that he plays, he has an all-court game. He can serve and volley a bit like you saw him do to the Australian Open final. He can play from the baseline. He's got probably one of the best backhands in the game ever. His movement around the court, also he can play from the back court and then he can sneak in in the singles. So doubles also helps him do that.
But for me what was special was to see him support his brother. That was really nice.

Q. Leander, just when you two got back together after so many years, was it difficult to gel again together, or was it instantaneous?
LEANDER PAES: The results speak, no?

Q. They do.
LEANDER PAES: Fairly obvious with the results. It's good.

Q. How do you see Davis Cup in Serbia?
LEANDER PAES: Tough. It'll be very good. First time to Serbia. I have a lot of friends with there. I played with Zimonjic for a long time; Tipsarevic is a friend; Novak is a great guy. I think it'll be a really tough tie for India because we're playing the Davis Cup champions and, also we're playing in Serbia. So it will be very, very tough for us.
For us in particular, we're going out there to play really hard in the doubles to try and keep that streak going. I know that in Serbia you'll have many options for the doubles. Along with Zimonjic, you have Troicki, you have Tipsarevic, you have -- I can't pronounce his name, but that one. (Laughing.)
So you have so many options. For us, it's just about making sure we're healthy, fit, and we go out there in the right frame of mind and healthy to play.

Q. Somdev is playing Federer today. Did he come to you guys asking for some kind of advice or you did help him out?
LEANDER PAES: You think we have advice against Federer for Somdev? I don't think any of us in this room have advice for him. Just to enjoy himself and have fun.

End of FastScripts

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