The Indian contention at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships came to an end with Rohan Bopanna’s loss in the quarter-finals of mixed doubles on Thursday. The 10th seeds and reigning French Open champions Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski squandered a set lead to go down 7-6(4), 4-6, 5-7 to the defending champions Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson in an entertaining match that lasted two hours.
With this defeat, the seven match winning streak came to an end for the Indo-Canadian pair.
No break in tight first set
The first set turned out to be one hard-fought, gritty affair with both teams unable to break each other. Credit goes to the Indo-Canadian pair for remaining calm under pressure and saving both the break points they faced.
The set eventually headed to the tie-break where the French Open champions lifted their game just when it mattered and pocketed the opener.
The defending champions brushed that setback and showed a lot of poise to come roaring back into contention. Breaking Bopanna and Dabrowski, they went 3-2 up and faced a stern test where the 10th seeds were presented with a couple of break points.
The unseeded Kontinen and Watson passed that test with flying colours as they not only held on but also went on to clinch that set, 6-4.
In a dramatic third set, the Finnish-British pair was the one to make the breakthrough first. On their sixth break point, they made in-roads into their opponents’ serves to lead 4-3.
However, the joy was short-lived as they failed to consolidate it. Bopanna and Dabrowski levelled matters at 4-4.
The French Open winners cracked soon after and conceded a break to go down 5-6. That was all Kontinen and Watson needed to serve out the win and continue their title defence.
Zeel Desai too bites the dust
Apart from Bopanna, there was another Indian in action. Rising Indian star Zeel Desai played her second round girls’ doubles match alongside Switzerland’s Lulu Sun. The duo put up a brave fight in the first set but were blanked in the second by the second seeded American pair of Taylor Johnson and Claire Liu, who emerged 7-5, 6-0 winners.