Tough draw for Indians in men`s doubles tennis
London: Indian men`s doubles pairs of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, and Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan have been handed a tough first round match in the tennis event at the London Olympics.
Bhupathi-Bopanna are seeded seventh and face Belarus`s Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury in the first round starting Saturday.
The unseeded duo of Paes-Vardhan will take on the Dutch pairing of Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer in the 32-team draw that was announced here Thursday.
Wild card Somdev Devvarman, India`s sole singles representative at the Olympics, will meet Finland`s Jarko Nieminen in the men`s singles event beginning Sunday.
The women`s doubles combination of Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthi begin their challenge against Su-Wei Hsieh and Chia-Jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei.
In the men`s doubles, the Indians will have to play out of their skins for a podium finish. Bhupathi-Bopanna will play either Britain`s Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins or Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet if they clear the first hurdle.
They are drawn to meet third seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Janko Tipsarevic from Serbia in the quarterfinals.
The going will be tougher for Paes and Vardhan, who will run into second seeded French pairing of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra in the second round.