India today suffered a major jolt in the tennis arena with Mahesh Bhupathi
and Rohan Bopanna crashing out of the men's doubles event in the Olympic Gammes
against a wild card pair at the Wimbledon courts here.
The Indians, whose insistence to play together sparked off a selection storm
ahead of the Games, bowed out of the competitions in the second round itself as
the French duo of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet scripted a comfortable
6-3 6-4 victory to break a million hearts.
Under a heavy and overcast sky, Bhupathi and Bopanna, who who were touted as
serious medal contenders, never really showed great chemistry nor flair as they
succumbed to the French pair in a battle, which lasted for one hour and 17
It was a dismal end to the campaign of the seasoned combination as they paid a
heavy price for a barrage of unforced errors, which eventually allowed the
spirited Frenchmen to tilt the balance in their favour.
Bhupathi and Bopanna committed as many as 37 unforced errors, many of them at
crucial junctures, to make a hash of things.
The Indian pair never got into any rhythm as they conceded the first set 3-6 in
39 minutes and then frittered away a 3-0 lead to go down 4-6 in the second set,
which lasted 38 minutes.
The Indians were broken in the fourth game of the first set and could not really
stage a comeback as the Frenchmen piled on the pressure with good court movement
In the second set, the Indians showed signs of recovering as they started off
well to race to a 3-0 lead but could not maintain the tempo as their opponents
wriggled out of the tight situation to ultimately clinch the set.
Bhupathi and Bopanna yesterday held their nerve to edge out Max Mirnyi and
Alexander Bury with a hard-fought 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 8-6 scoreline in a tussle
which lasted two hours and 26 minutes in the first round.
One more slap for Bhupathi, IMHO, the person with the most blame in this episode, would be for Paes-Sania to win a medal.
Good. I love it. I was hoping they lost in the 1st round itself. I was hoping from them to play Paes-Vishnu and lose - that would have been sweet.