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April 2, 2011
6-7, 6-2, 10-5
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
LEANDER PAES: Thank you.
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Thank you.
Q. What brought you guys back together after so many years apart?
LEANDER PAES: Breakfast in Paris, yeah.
MAHESH BHUPATHI: At Tiffany's.
Q. Just wanted to play together again after so much success you had?
LEANDER PAES: Just a lot of life is timing; a lot of life is about karma. We're both Indian boys so we believe that a lot.
Over the nine years that we haven't played together, there have been times we both asked each other to play, but it's not been the right timing. This time seemed to be the right timing, and the results prove for themselves.
Q. Nine years. Is there anything different about the partnership?
LEANDER PAES: Quite a little bit. It's quite different. Yeah, there's spark there, there's magic there. Sometimes you need a little oxygen in a relationship, in a friendship, and that's what we got.
Q. Mahesh, the monkey's off your back. At long last you won the title. How does it feel now?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Yeah, feels great. You know, I told Leander yesterday or day before that when we made the final, it's my third final in four years, so I needed him to carry me.
That's exactly when he did. Once we got to the breaker he caught fire, and five minutes of magic made up for us not playing a great much but just hanging in there.
Q. Was there any goal in this partnership? Let's get together because the Olympics are coming up? We'll be partners there or something?
LEANDER PAES: That's the best thing about coming back together again now, is that we have achieved so much as individuals, we achieved so much as a team, that before there was a lot pressure on the team.
Now we just decided to not give each other any pressure whatsoever. We don't expect anything at all. We go there and try and make each other look good, try and help each other get better, give each other space to breathe to do our own things.
And when we get on the court, we just fight hard together. That's what's fun. Like today we didn't play our greatest tennis and just managed to find a way to win, which is sometimes what you got to do, you know.
Q. How many years did you play together?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: I think we started in end of '94, maybe seven years.
Q. The rumor was you guys were about ready to kill each other when you broke up.
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Don't believe everything you read.
Q. Why did you split up? I don't know if you talked at the beginning, but why did you take a break and have different partners?
LEANDER PAES: Needed a little time apart. Too much pressure on the partnership. We were No. 1 in the world for quite a few years and got to the all four Grand Slam finals in the same year.
So if we won, everybody expected it; if we lost, it was like, Whoa, really? So just wanted to give the friendship a bit of a breather.
Q. Have you won all the slams?
LEANDER PAES: Except the Australian.
Q. Leander, how does winning this year feel compared to last year or some of other ones that you've won?
LEANDER PAES: Tough one. Last year in the matches leading up to the final didn't play that great and just found a way to win and then played really well in the final. Just took over the match in the final.
This year played really well through the whole tournament, and in the final I thought that I let the team down in the first set. I thought that I didn't play great today.
Um, I'm a strange cat. For me, one shot brings me back. I've got a lot of fire inside. One shot brings me back, and I've got to give kudos to Mahesh to keep doing his solid stuff right on through. You know, one shot brought us back in the tiebreak, which was great.
Q. So you're the flashy one and he's the bring-you-down-to-earth, consistent one?
LEANDER PAES: Tennis-wise, yes. Personality-wise we blend. When the going gets tough, when the pressure is on, I'm more stable. Hesh has got that huge return, that world class return, so he can just light it up.
So we take roles. That's also the beauty about being on the tour so much as individuals for so long. Sometimes when he's playing great, he leads the team; when I'm playing great, I lead the team. There's no craziness there. We do what's best for the team.
Q. What do you think of the new young singles player coming out of college, Somdev?
LEANDER PAES: He's awesome. Hesh manages him, so he can speak.
Q. Oh, really?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Yeah, I mean, nit's been a long time sense Leander was top 100 in '97, '98, yeah, so almost 13 years since we've had someone from India in the men's singles, so it's very exciting for Indian tennis.
He's steadily going up the rankings, and we're hoping he's going to fly the flag for a long time.
Q. He had a nice tournament here.
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Yeah, last two tournaments. Indian Wells fourth round; here third round. Yeah, he's played college in Virginia. He lives in Texas, so I likes playing in North America.
Q. When did you start moonlighting as an agent?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Been eight years.
Q. Who else?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: No one in tennis.
Q. What are the goals for him right now when you talk to him?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: Yeah, he's still pretty fresh on tour because he just come out of college two years now. I think his immediate goal is probably get to top 50. He is now in the main draw of all the slams, so that's exciting for him.
Q. Whose idea it was it to get back together?
LEANDER PAES: Both of us. Both of us kind of called each other and said, Let's have breakfast. Let's do it. We got together and both are instinctive kind of guys and we know what we want.
Q. When was that?
LEANDER PAES: November.
Q. Who won the cricket match today?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: India.
Q. How significant was that match and a little bit scarey or nervous with security?
MAHESH BHUPATHI: I know my wife went for the match and she's still stuck. She hasn't got home yet. The country is going to be at a standstill for a few days for sure. Cricket in India is a religion. We won it. I think I it's been 38 years. Funnily enough, on April 2nd, 1983 we won it last.
We're not going to get a mention in tomorrow's press no matter what Craig tries to do.
Q. What was the score?
LEANDER PAES: We won with two overs to spare.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports