Paes, Bopanna, Sania crash out in Australian Open doubles
On a largely disappointing day for Indian tennis players, Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza lost their respective doubles matches in the second round of the Australian Open leaving the country’s challenge restricted to the mixed doubles competition.
Sania, who recently reached her career best doubles ranking of No. 5 for the second time, and her Chinese Taipei partner Su-Wei Hsieh were stunned by the unseeded Canadian-Polish pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska 6-7, 4-6.
Sania though restored some pride in the mixed doubles event, when she combined with Bruno Soares of Brazil, and the top-seeded pair dispatched Timea Babos and Eric Butorac in double quick time 6-1, 4-6 [10-3].
Bopanna and Daniel Nestor were outplayed in their second-round men’s doubles match by Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi 5-7, 3-6. Paes, alongwith South African partner Raven Klaasen, went down to Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-2, 4-6, 1-6.
Earlier the second-seeded Sania and Hsieh, who had an easy first outing against the Argentine-Swiss combine of Maria Irigoyen and Romina Oprandi in the opening round, were up against a resilient Gabriela and Alicja this time around.
Fighting hard for the first set, Sania and Hsieh finally went down in tie break after an intense 58-minute battle.
Their relatively inexperienced opponents then gained confidence in the second set to comfortably dispatch the much fancied pair.
The Indo-Canadian pair of Bopanna and Nestor also struggled against the Spanish-Belarus pair of Lopez and Mirnyi as the seventh-seeded failed to cross the second hurdle.
Paes though did put a good show alongwith Klaasen but the tenth-seeded duo went down to the Italian pair after letting go of a first set advantage.
Mahesh Bhupathi, alongwith Jurgen Melzer, had already crashed out in the after the Indo-Austrian pair lost to Diego Schwartzman and Horacio Zeballos 4-6, 3-6 on Thursday.
In the mixed doubles draw, Bhupathi has paired up with Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia, Bopanna combines with Czech Republic partner B Zahlavova Strycova and Paes is set to partner Martina Hingis.