Leander Paes won his ninth Grand Slam title when he and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy overcame a first set lapse to tame Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman in the final of the French Open men's doubles here on Saturday.
The third seeded Indo-Czech pair defeated the giant-killing South African-Belgian pair 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win their first Grand Slam title together.It is almost after a gap of three years that Paes has won men's doubles title at a Major, since winning the 2006 US Open with Martin Damm.
Paes had earlier won the French Open in 1999 and 2001 with his estranged compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.After losing the first set, Paes and Dlouhy staged a brilliant comeback and completely overwhlemed Moodie-Norman, who had upset second seeded Americans Mike and Bob Bryan in the semi-finals.
An early break left Paes and Dlouhy trailing in the opening set. They got chances to break back but failed to convert any of the two breakpoints and that was enough for Moodie and Norman to seal the lead. Paes was hit on his eye when left-handed Norman sprayed a high forehand volley straight towards the Indian ace. Fortunately, that did not harm Paes much and he returned to court after receiving the ice treatment.
The Indo-Czech pair then staged a remarkable comeback in the second set riding on a double break -- second and fourth games. They raced away to a 5-0 lead and it looked they will blank their opponents but Paes was broken when he was serving for the set.However they had a such good lead that they comfortably drew parity and stretched the match to the decisive third set.As the momentum was on their side, they yet again broke their rivals twice -- third and seventh games -- to write the title in their name.