| London: After all the bickering, it was finally the end of road for India`s ace men`s doubles tennis pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna as they went down 3-6, 4-6 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the second round at the 2012 London Games here Tuesday.
The seventh seeded Indian pair, who had revolted against the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to play together, was erratic against the unseeded French duo.
Bhupathi and Bopanna committed two double faults while the Frenchman erred just once. The Indians also committed five unforced errors while Gasquet and Benneteau had three.
In the first set, the French duo broke Bhupathi and Bopanna in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. From there on it was easy going as they held all their service games, finally closing the set 6-3.
In the second, the Indians were off to a rollicking start taking a 3-0 lead but the French team came back strongly to tie the game at 3-3. Bhupathi and Bopanna held on to their next service game but from that point on it was all downhill as Gasquet and Benneteau won three games in a row to wrap up the match.
Bhupathi and Bopanna fought with the AITA in the run up to the Games. They openly defied against AITA`s decision of asking them to pair with Olympic singles bronze medallist Leander Paes for the London Olympics.
The AITA first asked Bhupathi to team up with Paes since they felt the pair was India`s best medal hope. But even Bopanna declined to pair with Paes.
Bhupathi and Bopanna even threatned to pull put of the Games if they were forced to pair with Paes. The AITA had to finally allow them play together for the best interest of the country.
Paes, who had to pair with youngster Vishnu Vardhan, is still alive in the men`s doubles and the mixed doubles. Paes and Vardhan were slated to take on second seeded Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the second round but their match was postponed.
In the mixed doubles, Paes and Saina have been drawn against Serbian team of Nenad Zimonjic and Ana Ivanovic in the first round of the mixed doubles tennis competition at the London Olympics.
First Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 23:57