September 7, 2013 / 11:04 PM / 6 years ago

Paes and Stepanek chase U.S. Open doubles title

NEW YORK (Reuters) - India’s Leander Paes and Czech Radek Stepanek will attempt to follow their victory over the Bryan brothers by toppling the Austria-Brazil pairing of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the U.S. Open men’s doubles final on Sunday.

Leander Paes (R) of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic celebrate winning match point against Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S. in their men's doubles match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Paes and Stepanek ended Bob and Mike Bryan’s chances of winning the calendar-year grand slam with their three-set win in the semi-finals.

Paes, 40, who is chasing his third U.S. Open doubles title and the eighth major of his career, said the achievement would be unforgettable in a city he had previously made his home.

“I played the junior singles final in 1990,” he said. “I remember Wilt Chamberlain was watching. My father was out there. There was a packed stadium. I was a young little Indian kid from Calcutta who was trying to see if I could make it on the pro tour.

“I took the train from Grand Central into Queen’s. My father was trying to make a man out of me.”

Paes was so taken by New York that he lived there for four years before making Mumbai his base.

“New York is a great city,” he said. “The culture, the melting pot of society, what New York stands for. The resilience that the people have in this city is phenomenal.

“I was actually in the Twin Towers, the basement, the night before it went down. I was there literally less than twelve hours before it happened.

“The resilience New Yorkers show is the reason I love this city.”

Stepanek is chasing his second major doubles title after winning the 2012 Australian Open with Paes.

Peya and Soares are appearing in their first final.

Editing by Gene Cherry

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