Bhupathi, Bopanna advance in Australian Open

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 13:17 hrs

Melbourne: India's doubles specialists Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna won their first round matches with different partners while Somdev Devvarman lost a marathon battle against fancied Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in the men's singles second round at the Australian Open here Wednesday.

The surprise result of the day was 10th seeds Sania Mira and Bethanie Mattek-Sands losing to Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (4-7), 3-6 in the women's doubles second round at Melbourne Park.

Bopanna along with new partner Rajeev Ram of America beat Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 6-4. The 12th seeds next face Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

Fifth seeds Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor did not face much difficulty in getting past Spain's Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-4. The Indo-Canadian combine will play either Brian Baker and Raven Klaasen or Victor Hanescu and Martin Klizan in the second round.

Earlier Wednesday, Devvarman, the lone Indian in the men's singles draw squandered a two-set lead to lose 7-6, 6-3, 1-6, 0-6, 5-7 against the 26th ranked Pole on court number eight.

Devvarman, who has slipped to 551 in the ranking after missing most of last year owing to a shoulder injury, got the better of world no. 78 Bjorn Phau in the opening round.

The long hard fought battle saw the opening set lasting 79 minutes with Devvarman clinching it 12-10 in the tie-break. Both players had two set points each.

The gruelling effort took a toll on Janowicz, who in frustration over a line call, hit the umpire's chair with his racket and threw his water bottle on the other side of the court.

Devvarman won the second set without much difficulty and looked set for another big win. But Janowicz bounced back in the contest, hitting 15 winners to take the set comfortably.

The 24th seed was unstoppable in the fourth set and struck 23 winners to level the match.

It was a battle of nerves in the decider with very little separating the two players. In the end, Janowicz's aggression paid off as he made up for 15 unforced errors by finding three more winners. The Indian only hit five winners.

In the women's doubles, Sania and Bethanie could not jell, though statistically they were not very far from their Spanish opponents. It is just that they could not press home the advantage by not being able to convert more than four of their eight breakpoints whereas the Spaniards clinched all the five they got.

The Indo-American duo had a great chance of winning the second set after losing the first set tie-break when they led 3-0 but lost the next six games in a reel to bow out of the championships.

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