Leander Paes became the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup as he combined with Rohan Bopanna to not only grab a record 43rd win but also bring India back in the tie against China on Saturday. Forced to play together by All India Tennis Association (AITA), 44-year-old Paes and Bopanna downed a fighting Chinese pair of Mo Xin Gong and Ze Zhang 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(3) in the do-or-die doubles rubber of the Asia/Oceania Group I tie.
India were trailing 0-2 in the tie after Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal suffered surprise tame defeats on Friday and needed a win in the doubles to stay alive in the tie.
The Indian youngsters will now have to win both the reverse singles to advance to the World Group Play-offs. Paes, India's Davis Cup hero for years, was tied on 42 wins with Italian great
Nicola Pietrangeli for long but finally managed to surpass him with a gritty performance on Saturday.
Paes had made his Davis Cup debut in 1990 along side Zeeshan Ali, who is now coach of the side, and grew into a legend in company of Mahesh Bhupathi, who is now the captain of the side.
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