The sixth seeded Indo-Pak duo of Rohan Bopanna & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi fell to a disappointing 3-6, 4-6 defeat at the hands of the unseeded duo of Jonathan Elrich and Marcelo Melo. The two played some uninspiring tennis as they surrendered meekly in a 65-minute encounter on the outside courts.
Bopanna and Qureshi got off to a steady start, but Elrich and Melo converted the solitary break point of the first set to take the lead over their sixth seeded opponents. As the battle intensified, the two teams fought tooth and nail, with the Indo-Pak duo especially eager to make a dent and work their way into the contest.
There was hardly anything to separate the two pairs at 3-3 in the second set, though the first set had already slipped out of the grasp of Bopanna and Qureshi. Matters worsened considerably, when Melo and Elrich took the battle to their opponents to force a break in the seventh game.
Elrich and Melo held serve to consolidate to 5-3 as they left Bopanna and Qureshi tottering on the brink of an early defeat. Bopanna and Qureshi held serve to ensure that their opponents had to serve out for victory, but the experienced duo ensured there was no further drama.
Playing an attacking game, Elrich and Melo gained three match points at 40-0 in the tenth game. They only needed one, as they raced to victory in just over an hour. Yesterday, the Indo-Pak duo were scheduled to play Ivo Karlovic and Stephane Robert. But a late withdrawal by Robert meant that they ended up playing Divij Sharan and Rameez Junaid who were the first alternates.
They sweated their way to a 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-5 victory in more than two hours, after being a break down in the final set. But none of that resilience was on display today as they surrendered tamely to their unseeded opponents on court 16. The long established duo of Bopanna and Qureshi are still looking for their maiden grand slam title and will have some serious thinking to do before they reach Wimbledon in June.Published 29 May 2014, 18:05 IST