Paes-Stepanek, Bhupathi-Bopanna knocked out of Wimbledon

July 4th, 2012 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Rohan Bopanna London, July 3 (IANS) India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek along with the Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the men’s doubles of the Wimbledon here Tuesday.

In a match that stretched over two days due to rain, the fourth seeded pair of Paes and Stepanek fought hard before going down 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-8 to the 15th seeded pair of Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig of Croatia in the third round. It was an interesting battle
that lasted two hours and 49 minutes.

Paes and Stepanek started well by winning the first set comfortably but Melo and Dodig came back strongly to win the next two sets easily.

Paes and Stepanek refused to give in and stretched the fourth to the tie-breaker winning it 7-2 in 58 minutes. The decider and the fifth set was also keenly contested with none of the teams willing to leave an inch but Dodig and Melo had the last laugh winning it 8-6.

Paes and Stepanek hit just 19 winners compared to 26 hit by Dodig and Melo. The Indo-Czech duo, however, committed just four double faults while the Croat-Brazilian duo made eight.

Meanwhile in a second round match, Bhupathi and Bopanna, who were seventh seeded, were shocked 5-7, 6-7 (4-7), 3-6, by the unseeded pair of Russian Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in a match that lasted just over two hours.

Bhupathi and Boppana were erratic in their service, committing four double faults but managed 13 aces. They also hit 16 winners as compared to 13 by the Russian-Uzbek combine.

Paes and Stepanek were chasing their second Grand Slam title together after winning the Australian Open in January. Paes is still in fray in the mixed doubles partnering Elena Vesnina in the second round.

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