22 Jan : Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi advanced to men’s second round event with their respective partners while Sania Mirza’s campaign was cut short in the women’s doubles opener at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday.
Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas, seeded third, defeated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia and Mischa Zvererv of Germany 6-3 6-2 in their men’s doubles first round encounter.
They will next meet Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov of Russia.Fourth seeds Paes and Lukas Dlouhy rallied to a three-set win against Yves Allegro of Switzerland and Fabrice Santoro of France. They clinched a 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory.
Their next opponents will be Italian Fabio Fognini and Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia.However, disappointment was in store for India as Sania and her American partner Vania King bowed out in the first round of women’s doubles event.
The Indo-American pair went down to Verra Dushevina of Russia and Olga Savchuka of Ukrain 6-4 1-6 1-6.Sania will now take to court with Bhupathi for the mixed doubles event were they will square up against sixth seeds Kveta Peschke and Pavel Vizner of Czech Republic in the first round.
The pair of Paes and Cara Black of Zimbabwe, who are top seeded, have been pitted against Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.