India’s Divij Sharan and New Zealand’s Artem Sitak staged a brilliant comeback from two sets down to enter the third round of the Wimbledon Championships 2018 in London on Saturday. It was, however, the end of the road for the all-Indian pair of Vishnu Vardhan and N Sriram Balaji.
Later, Sharan suffered a loss in the first round of mixed doubles, bringing an end to India’s campaign in mixed doubles at the grasscourt Major.
The 44th ranked Sharan had paired up with the 39th ranked Sitak just ahead of the grass season. The two had reached the semi-finals of the Libema Open during the build-up to Wimbledon.
They brought a lot of that confidence and resilience after going two sets to love down against the unseeded combine of Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos.
Fighting back, the Indo-Kiwi pair carved out a 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Peralta and Zeballos in the marathon second round match, that lasted 3 hours 22 minutes. Sharan and Sitak produced 13 aces and 5 double faults.
They managed to convert three out of the eight break points that they got, although they won a total of 162 points -- four less than their opponents.
Sharan and Sitak next take on the experienced pair of Jonathan Erlich and Marcin Matkowski.
The Indian southpaw was left the last Indian standing in men’s doubles after Balaji and Vardhan’s great run came to an end in the second round. The Indian pair did take a set off the 14th seeds Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff, but weren’t able to keep the momentum going as the Japanese-German pair closed out a 7-6(2), 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-3 win in 2 hours 40 minutes.
Balaji and Vardhan had entered the Wimbledon main draw after winning a couple of rounds in qualifying.
Divij Sharan had mixed fortunes on Saturday as he later lost his first round of mixed doubles alongside Poland’s Alicja Rosolska. The Indo-Polish duo was beaten 3-6, 5-7 by the Polish-Romanian combine of Matkowski and Mihaela Buzarnescu.Published 08 Jul 2018, 15:18 IST