Dubai Open: Leander Paes enters quarter-finals; Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan crash out
On a day of contrasting fortunes for India’s top doubles players, Leander Paes was the only one to win his first round match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, but Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan both lost their respective openers. Paes and Jamie Cerretani, a wildcard pair at this ATP 500 tournament, were ruthless against the lucky loser combine of Andreas Haider-Maurer and Florian Mayer and notched up a 6-3, 6-1 win in just 55 minutes.
The Indo-American duo won 89% of their first serve points and converted four out of their 10 break point opportunities, without conceding any. They finished with a total of 57 points while their opponents could bag only 35.
Paes and Cerretani have already achieved success in their partnership this season, having clinched the Newport Beach Challenger title last month and that too, without dropping a set. However, Paes hasn’t been able to do much on the ATP World Tour since then and lost both his first round matches at the New York Open and the Delray Beach Open.
Paes and Cerretani have a tough task up next as they take on the fourth seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus. The latter brought curtains on the campaign of Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in their first round match with a 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 win in 1 hour 11 minutes.
The Indo-French duo came to this event on the back of a semi-final finish at the Open 13 in Marseille last week and was high on confidence. But they squandered numerous break points and succeeded in making use of just one out of eight.
Klaasen and Venus broke them once in the first set and held their nerves in the match tie-break to dash the hopes of Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin.
Divij Sharan and Yuichi Sugita too had to bite the dust in their opener. The Indo-Japanese combine lost a tight first set and then was outclassed in the second by Marcin Matkowski and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi before losing 5-7, 1-6.