London: After string of losses, the Indian Tennis camp at the London Olympics finally had a reason to smile after the doubles pair of Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan and the seventh seeded team of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna won their first match of men’s tennis event here at the All England Club.
Paes and Vardhan who took on the pair of Jean-Julien Rojer and Robin Haase from Netherlands displayed an attacking tennis to end the Dutch challenge in a hard fought three set match. The Indian pair won 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-2 in an hour and 52 minutes.
The unseeded Indian pair was tested by the Dutch and faced some resistance, but they held on to their nerves to keep themselves alive in the mega event.
Whereas the pair of Bhupathi and Bopanna also started their Olympics campaign with a hard fought win against Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury of Belarus.
The seventh seeded pair of Bhupathi and Bopanna, whose denial to pair with Paes and insistence to play together that sparked the infamous tennis selection row ahead of the Olympics won 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (4-7) and 8-6 in a match lasted two hours and 26 minutes.
They now face the French duo of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet whereas the duo of Paes and Vardhan will be put to an acid test when they take on the second seeded French pair of Joe-Wilfred Tsonga and Michael Llodra.
Meanwhile earlier in day, Vardhan’s who made a lucky cut into the Olympics singles draw after German Phillip Kohlschreiber pulled out with an injury saw his dream outing cut short by Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic in the first round.
Ranked 208 in the World, Vardhan could not offer much resistance and lost 3-6, 2-6 in 72 minutes.
By Indian Sports News Network