Melbourne: India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek were shocked in their first round match as the second seeded pair lost to South African Kevin Anderson and Israeli Jonathan Erlich in the Australian Open opening round here on Thursday. Leander and Stepanek lost 3-6 5-7 to Anderson and Erlich in 89 minutes.
The South African-Israeli combo not only relied on the serve to outplay Paes and Stepanek, but also managed to convert four out of seven breakpoints they got. In contrast, the Indo-Czech duo was just not up to the mark, either while returning the serve or converting their breakpoints.
After losing the opening set miserably, Paes and Stepanek though put up a better show in the second, but they failed to sustain and eventually lost both the set and the match.
However, the Australian Open campaign is not yet over for Paes as he will be playing the mixed doubles with Russian partner Elena Vesnina. They will be facing Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden in the first round.