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French Open 2018: Indian campaign ends in mixed doubles, Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan bow out in men’s doubles

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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511   //    02 Jun 2018, 00:04 IST

2018 Australian Open - Day 14
Timea Babos (left) and Rohan Bopanna

Indian tennis players had to endure three defeats on Day 6 of the French Open 2018 in Paris with none from the contingent managing to secure a win. Due to twin defeats of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan with their respective partners in mixed doubles, the Indian challenge came to an end in that section.

In men’s doubles, the pair of Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan crashed out in the second round, leaving Bopanna as the only Indian remaining in the draw.

Bopanna and Timea Babos of Hungary were the seventh seeds and the favourites to win their opening match against John Peers and Shuai Zhang. But the Indo-Hungarian combine was completely outplayed 2-6, 3-6 by their unseeded opponents in just 56 minutes.

12 months ago, Bopanna won this title alongside Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada. They parted ways at the end of the 2017 season, following which the Indian teamed up with Babos.

The start to their partnership was memorable as they made it to the final of the Australian Open in January, losing to Dabrowski and Mate Pavic narrowly in a match tie-break. They, however, failed to replicate that result in Paris and never looked comfortable throughout the match.

Divij Sharan and Japan’s Shuko Aoyama entered the mixed doubles main draw as alternates. They made a fantastic start to their first round match, winning the first set 6-2 over experienced campaigners, Katarina Srebotnik and Santiago Gonzalez. The second set remained on serve till 3-3 after which the veteran pair upped the tempo on their returns and won the next three games to set up a deciding match tie-break.

Srebotnik and Gonzalez eventually closed out the 2-6, 6-3, 10-5 win in 1 hour 5 minutes.

In men’s doubles, Bhambri and Sharan put up a stiff resistance against the second seeds and reigning Australian Open champions, Pavic and Oliver Marach in the first set. In the second set, they crumbled under pressure, succumbing 5-7, 3-6 in 1 hour 17 minutes.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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