The doubles draws for the 2014 Australian Open have been released ahead of the start of play tomorrow, and from India’s perspective, there’s plenty to talk about.
This time around, the draw will see the onset of the younger Indian generation with Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan participating for the first time. This will also be the last time Mahesh Bhupathi will be playing at Melbourne.
The top quarter features Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Qureshi as the seventh seeds. They open proceedings against Rameez Junaid and Adrian Mannarino in the initial round. The Bryan brothers could be their potential opponents in the quarter finals. The second quarter features no Indians and this leaves Rohan Bopanna as the sole flag bearer in the top half.
In the second quarter, Divij Sharan and Yen-Hsun Lu, the US Open pre-quarterfinalists, are drawn to meet Chennai Open winners Johan Brunstrom and Frederik Nielsen in the opening round. Sharan and Lu could then face the French pair of Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Julien Benneteau in the second round.
The final quarter will cater to most of the Indian interest. 2012 winners Leander Paes and Radek Stapanek are seeded fifth and will start their campaign against Paes’s former partner Lukas Dlouhy and Lukas Rosol. Wild cards Michael Venus and Yuki Bhambri will open against Roberto Bautista-Agut and Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Mahesh Bhupathi and Rajeev Ram will play their first match against Santiago Giraldo and Joao Sousa and could face the second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the second round.
Meanwhile, in the women’s draw, Sania Mirza and Cara Black, the sixth seeds, will play Arina Rodionova and Tammi Patterson, an Australian wild card team, in the first round.Published 12 Jan 2014, 19:08 IST