Veteran tennis player Leander Paes began his last campaign at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2020 by registering a flamboyant win against the second-seeded pair of Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the Men's Doubles encounter. Partnering with Australian Matthew Ebden once again, Paes entered the quarter-finals with a dashing straight sets win over the Croatian-Slovakian duo, 6-4, 6-3.
On the other hand, India's hope in singles came to a close with Prajnesh Gunneswaran crashing out against qualifier Dennis Novak in straight sets as well, losing 6-4, 6-3. Gunneswaran, who hasn't been having a good year so far, failed to produce a turnaround performance in his Round of 32 encounter with the Austrian qualifier. Soon enough, Novak eased his way forward in the tournament as Gunneswaran could not do much to prevent his advances.
The highlight for the day for Indian fans was the amazing victory won by Leander Paes. On his 'One Last Roar' tour, Paes and Ebden were sensational against the 2020 Australian Open semi-finalist pair of Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek. The runners-up at the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger event which concluded only recently, Paes and Ebden looked to be in good shape and form as they ably tackled the challenge posed by the usually successful Croatian-Slovakian pair.
Coming into the match, it was Dodig and Polasek who were expected to win, given their brilliant run at the year's first Grand Slam. However, underestimating the powers of 18-time Grand Slam champion in Doubles and Mixed Doubles categories is a foolish thing to do as Paes shone brightly alongside Ebden.
The Indo-Australian pair who have been given a wildcard entry in Dubai will be playing qualifier duo of Jan-Lennard Struff and Henri Kontinen in the quarter-final clash. It's extremely important that Paes and Ebden be able to retain their form and give it their all in the quarter-finals.Published 25 Feb 2020, 22:32 IST