MELBOURNE, Australia – "Vamos!" shouted the Indian doubles player. His Spanish-speaking opponents were clearly not amused.
Tennis etiquette was put aside during a heated doubles match between India's Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and Spain's Feliciano Lopez, who was playing with Juan Monaco of Argentina.
The No. 3-seeded Indian pair won the second-round match 7-6 (2), 6-4. Match officials stepped in to calm the players after the match, when the two teams approached the net, arguing and angrily gesticulating. The losing team then snubbed the Indians by not shaking both their hands.
Lopez later told reporters that Paes was "trying to provoke us all the time."
"At one point, we were a little bit tired of the style he was using on the court, and that's all that happened," Lopez said.
Lopez did not specify which point, but the Indians say he intentionally hit a serve aimed at Paes, who jumped out of the way to avoid being hit.
"There was one serve fired at Leander," Bhupathi said. "We're all professionals, I don't think he would have missed (the service box) by that much."
The Indian team was openly amused by the antics in their post-match news conference. Bhupathi blamed the tension on their opponents' "not being in a happy place" because they were losing. And because it was a hot summer day.
"It's hot out there, we're trying to beat each other. A few unnecessary things were said," Bhupathi added, smiling. "The crowd loved it. We got into it."
"They probably were not happy that we used the word 'Vamos,'" Bhupathi conceded. "Small things like that added up. Kept adding to their frustration that we were playing good tennis."
"Vamos!" — Spanish for "let's go!" — is commonly used by Spanish-speaking players and their fans.
"It's just one of the words I like to use," Paes said, adding that Spanish speaking players have taken offense to it in the past. "Nobody has a patent on it."
Paes added that they do not intend to censor themselves in the next round, where they face Spaniards Tommy Robredo and Marcel Granollers, the No. 13-seeded team.
Tournament officials did not immediately comment.
RING, RING — IT'S BJORN AGAIN: Sometimes Robin Soderling's phone rings and the voice on the other end is none other than Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg.
"We meet sometimes, and sometimes he calls me, sends me texts. It's nice," the No. 4-seeded Swede said of the support he gets. Borg won 11 Grand Slam singles trophies in the 1970s and early 80s.
Soderling has come close a few times to winning his first major but obstacles keep getting in the way, namely No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer.
The Swede has lost the last two French Open finals — once to Nadal and once to Federer. He reached the quarterfinals at 2010 Wimbledon, losing to Nadal, and at the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Open, losing to Federer both times.
But he has beaten both players on other occasions and doesn't feel intimidated by their domination at Grand Slams.
"They're No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. I think in every tournament they play, they will be the favorites," Soderling said. "I think there's many guys who can actually compete against them and have a chance to win."
The 26-year-old Soderling advanced Saturday to the Australian Open fourth round for the first time in his career, beating Jan Hernych 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. He served 10 aces and hit 33 winners, dominating his 241st-ranked Czech opponent who managed eight winners.
Soderling hasn't dropped a set and is on an eight-match winning streak with his three at Melbourne Park after winning the tuneup tournament at Brisbane.
He faces Alexandr Dolgopolov, who won a five-set, third-round match against 2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, and could meet Nadal in the semifinals.
MIND GAMES: Before her match, Peng Shuai told herself to pretend this wasn't a Grand Slam.
The 25-year-old Chinese player didn't want her nerves to prevent her from reaching a fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time.
It was one of several inner conversations that helped her defeat Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to become the third Chinese player to ever get that far at the Australian Open.
Cramps nearly hobbled her in the third set.
"I just told myself, 'Don't think about the cramping," she said. "I just told myself to fight."
"Before the match, I just told myself, 'Don't think this is Grand Slam, because I really want to win."
Li Na and Zheng Jie reached the Australian Open women's semifinals last year, the first time two Chinese players had gone so far in the same Grand Slam.
Li Na advanced to the fourth round Friday. Zheng Jie is injured and is not competing here.