Sydney: Indian tennis star Leander Paes' build-up to the Australian Open got off to a disappointing start after the veteran and his French partner Jeremy Chardy bowed out of the Sydney International following a straight-set loss in the men's doubles opening round.
Paes and Chardy lost 4-6, 4-6 in an hour and eight minutes to Brazilian-Canadian third seeds Marcelo Melo and Daniel Nestor at the USD 404,780 event here today.
Paes will start as the defending champion at the Australian Open next week alongwith Swiss Martina Hingis in the mixed doubles category and this defeat will be a dampener for his preparation for the prestigious event.
The Indo-French combo failed to convert the eight break points that came their way as Melo and Nestor broke them once each in the two sets to sail into the quarterfinals.
Among other Indians in fray, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will play their respective matches tomorrow.