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French Open 2017: Mixed luck for India but Bopanna shines

468   //    02 Jun 2017, 22:29 IST
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23:  Rohan Bopanna of India and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay celebrate match point against Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez of Spain in the doubles final on day eight of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 23, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Rohan Bopanna and partner Pablo Cuevas have been playing top tennis in the doubles

Indians performing at the French Open today were greeted with mixed results. Grand Slam winner and former World No. 1 Leander Paes today put up spirited fights in the men’s – and mixed doubles, partnering American Scott Lipsky in the men’s and former World No.1 . Martina Hingis in the mixed doubles – but crashed out in both. 

Paes did not go down without a fight, however. Playing Spain’s David Marrero and Tommy Robredo in Round 2, Paes and Lipsky took the first set to a tense tiebreak, coming back from 4-0 down in that tie; however, it was the Spanish pair who eventually won that. It was through the second set that the Indo-American pair lost steam, however, eventually losing 6-7, 2-6. 

Paired with longterm mixed doubles partner Martina Hingis, Paes took on Katerina Srebotnik and Raven Klaasen in the first round of the mixed doubles; they lost the first set 4-6 before mounting a massive fight back to take the second set 6-1 and swinging the momentum firmly in their favour. 

Although they looked to have placed themselves in a winning position, the Indo-Swiss pair were thoroughly outclassed in the decider, going down 2-10. 

Sania Mirza and mixed doubles partner Ivan Dodig are seeded fourth at the French Open, and the former Grand Slam finalists beat the all-Croat combine of Darija Jurak and Mate Pavic in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, to take victory in Round 1 of the mixed doubles. The two will take on the Australian-Ukrainian combine of Artem Sitak and Elina Svitolina next. 

Of all the Indians at Roland Garros, it is Rohan Bopanna who has been the most succesful. The top-ranked Indian doubles ace and his partner Pablo Cuevas, seeded 9th at the French Open, took a hard-fought win over Treat Huey and Denis Istomin today, winning 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. They will next meet former World No. 1 ranked pair and fifth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. 

Although Murray and Soares are the higher-ranked pair, Bopanna and Cuevas have had big successes on clay this year, winning the Monte Carlo Masters title together; Cuevas has also had success in the singles on the surface, and will contest Fernando Verdasco in Round 3 of the singles tomorrow.

Bopanna and mixed doubles partner Gabriela Dabrowski also had a successful start to the Open, beating Matt Reid and Jessica Moore 6-0, 6-1 in only 39 minutes – and the seventh-seeded Indo-Canadian pair will now take on local hopes Chloe Paquet and Benoit Paire. 

India’s Purav Raja and Divij Sharan will also contest Round 3 of the doubles tomorrow; they play Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus fresh off an upset over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who were seeded 15th at the tournament.