Veteran Indian tennis ace Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek were knocked out of the Australian Open men’s doubles competition after going down in straight sets in the quarterfinal in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Paes and Stepanek, seeded fifth in the event, were downed 2-6 6-7 (4) by the 13th-seeded French pair of Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut.
The contest, which lasted a little less than an hour and a half, was quite lopsided with Llodra and Mahut imposing themselves with a powerful first serve.
Their dominant service game meant that Llodra and Mahut did not concede a single break point through the match.
The opening set was quite literally a stroll for the French pair as it broke Paes and Stepanek twice to pocket the initiative in just 29 minutes.
Llodra and Mahut claimed 27 winners compared to their rivals’ 18 besides being markedly better in their first serve in the first set.
The second set was a tad more even with Paes and Stepanek matching up to their rivals but Llodra and Mahut once again dominated the service game to seal the issue in their favour.
Llodra and Mahut will now be up against the 14th-seeded Polish-Swedish team of Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt in the semifinals.
With Paes’ loss on Wednesday, the Indian challenge in the men’s doubles competition has come to an end.