Indian Tennis Challenge in Summer Olympics crashes with Paes Sania loss
India’s tennis campaign at the 2012 London Games came to an end Saturay after the mixed doubles pair of Leander Paes and Sania Mirza lost their quarterfinal match at the Wimbledon.
Paes, a 1996 singles bronze medallist, and Sania lost 5-7, 6-7 (7-5) to the top seeded Belarusian pair of Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi in a match that was played over two days due to bad light.
The Indians were trailing 5-7, 2-3 when bad light stopped play here Friday evening. But when play resumed Saturday, it seemed that the Indians failed to get back into the match.
Paes and Saina had paired for the Olympics after sorting out their off-court differences. They had an excellent win against the Serbian pair of Nenad Zimonjic and Anna Ivanovic to book a place in the quarterfinal.
India’s campaign in men’s singles and doubles and women’s singles also didn’t last long.
Wild card entrant Somdev Devvarman, India sole representative in the singles, suffered a first round exit to Finland’s Jarko Nieminen in a rain-affected encounter.
The second to go out was the women’s doubles pair of Sania and Rushmi Chakarvarthi, who were knocked out by Chia-Jung Chuang and Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei in the opening round.
The men’s doubles pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, who had revolted against the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for asking them to pair with Paes, went down tamely 3-6, 4-6 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the second round.
But Paes, playing with a young partner Vishnu Vardhan, held his head high after they lost to the second seeded French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra in an evenly fought second round match.