The inaugural ATP250 Chengdu Open is currently underway in China, and India's top male doubles player, Rohan Bopanna, has crashed out with new partner Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
The Indian pair, who are playing together for the first time on the professional circuit, defeated the strong Spanish-Argentinian combine of Marc Lopez and Juan Monaco in straight sets in their previous match, but today were flummoxed by Adil Shamasdin of Canada and his Swedish partner Andres Siljestrom, who beat Bopanna and Nedunchezhiyan 6-4, 7-6.
Bopanna and Nedunchezhiyan had looked strong in their match yesterday, beating a powerful Lopez who is fresh off a Grand Slam win and Olympic doubles gold this year, but looked less powerful today against their lower-ranked opponents.
Despite managing some decent court coverage, the Indian combine flagged on energy and was unable to capitalize on crucial points, going down fairly quickly 4-6 to their rivals. They dialed up the attack in the second set, however, managing to put up a fight against their Canadian-Swedish competitors. They took the second set to a tiebreak, but Shamasdin and Siljestrom built on their mini-break up to win the tiebreaker 7-4, ending the campaign for Bopanna and Nedunchezhiyan.
Bopanna is said to have made his split from Romania's Florin Mergea permanent, and is now reported to be pairing with Canadian doubles Grand Slam winner Daniel Nestor for the remainder of the Asian tennis leg.
Sharan and Raja also tumble
Bopanna and Jeevan were not the only Indians in the draw as Purav Raja and Divij Sharan, who have been having an improved 2016, tumbled to Nicholas Monroe of the USA and partner Artem Sitak of New Zealand 4-6, 3-6, completely outplayed by their rivals at the ATP250 event.
Both the Indian pairs’ losses came on the back of convincing wins over strong players; while Bopanna and Nedunchezhiyan beat Marc Lopez and Juan Monaco, Raja and Sharan defeated third seeds Dominic Inglot and Nenad Zimonjic in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
The two losses mark the end of India's campaign at the ATP event.
Elsewhere, Sania Mirza and partner Barbora Strycova are through to the third round at the WTA Wuhan Open, where they are seeded third. Mirza's former partner Martina Hingis, who had been closing in on the Indian ace in the rankings, has crashed out of the event.