Paes-Vardhan duo advances into second round

Leander Paes
London, Jul 31: India's warring duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who were locked in an ugly selection row in the build-up to the Olympics, advanced to the second round of the men's doubles competition along with their respective partners, here on Monday.

Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, whose insistence to play together sparked off the selection row, staved off a spirited challenge from Belarus pair of Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 8-6 in a tussle which lasted two hours and 26 minutes here.

Later in the evening, Paes and Vishnu Vardhan also put up a spirited performance to see off Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2 in a match that went on for 112 minutes at the Wimbledon.

Paes and Vishnu too managed to overhaul their Dutch rivals after a gruelling three-set battle. The Dutch pair sent down eight aces compared to the three by the Indian pair but they also double faulted thrice.

The Indian pair had a better break point conversation rate as they converted three of the six opportunities that came their way. In comparison, the Dutch combo could make count only two of the six chances they got.

The Indian combo will now take on Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the second round.


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