Somdev, Sania crash out; Bopanna and Bhupathi advance
Melbourne: Somdev Devvarman gave a mighty scare to world number 26 Jerzy Janowicz before fizzling out while Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a shock first round exit in a mixed day for the Indians at the Australian Open here on Wednesday.
Somdev was well on course to record his best performance at the Grand Slams but frittered away a two-set lead to go down 7-6(10) 6-3 1-6 0-6 5-7 against 24th seed Polish rival in a marathon men`s singles second round, which lasted four hours.
Somdev showed he has recovered well from his shoulder surgery, which spoilt his 2012 season, but somehow could not complete the job despite a magnificent start.
Somdev was lone Indian featuring in the men`s singles.
In the women`s doubles Sania and Bethanie, who came into tournament after winning the Brisbane international, were ousted by unseeded Spanish team of Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro.
The 10th seed Indo-American team bowed out with a 6-7(4) 3-6 defeat in their opening round of the women`s doubles.
Sania will now compete in the mixed doubles with new partner Bob Bryan.
However, there was something to cheer for India in the men`s doubles as Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhuapthi advanced to the second round with their respective partners.
Bopanna and American Rajeev Ram, seeded 12th defeated Australian pair of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios 6-2 6-4 in their first round.
Fifth seeded duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Canadian Daniel Nestor ousted the Spanish pair of Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-4 in their first round match.
Second seeded Leander Paes and his Czech partner will begin the defence of their title against South Africa`s Kevin Anderson and Isarel`s Jonathan Erlich tomorrow.
Bopanna and Ram will next take on Italian team of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.