Bhupathi in doubles third round, Bopanna crashes out

January 24th, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 24 (IANS) India’s Mahesh Bhupathi continued his surge in the Australian Open doubles as he advanced to the third round with partner Mark Knowles of the Bahamas at the Melbourne Park here Saturday.Third seeded Bhupathi and Knowles overcame a spirited challenge from Russians Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 7-5 in an hour-and-a-half.

The duo will clash with Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador and Spain’s Tommy Robredo, who eased past India’s Rohan Bopanna and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-4, 6-4 in an hour-long encounter.

Bhupathi’s former partner, Leander Paes is already in the third round with Czech Lukas Dlouhy and will next meet Paul Hanley and Jordan Kerr of Australia.

Bhupathi and Knowles converted four of their nine break points. They got seven break points and managed to convert two to take the first set in 50 minutes. Kunitsyn and Tursunov made 12 unforced errors and could convert only one of their five break points to make things easier for their opponents.

In the second set, Bhupathi and Knowles broke Kunitsyn and Tursunov twice and conceded their serve once to close out the set in 42 minutes.

Bhupathi and Knowles have enjoyed success last year and won three titles in seven finals. They are both past Australian Open finalists. Knowles won in 2002 with Daniel Nestor, with whom he also finished as runners-up in 1995 and 2003. Bhupathi reached the final in 1999 with Paes.

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