Dubai: The Indian challenge at the $2.2 million Dubai Tennis Championships ended after Rohan Bopanna and his partner suffered a shock exit in the first round of the men’s doubles at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre here on Wednesday. Second seeds Bopanna and Romanian Florin Mergea lost to the unseeded but experienced Canadian-Czech pairing of Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-10 in an hour and 24 minutes on Court No.3.
Yuki Bhambri and Mahesh Bhupathi had lost their respective opening matches earlier on Tuesday evening. The Indo-Romanian pair was easily the dominant team in the first set, winning 29 of the 49 points played. They also broke Nestor and Stepanek twice out of five chances which was enough to seal the set. Though the unseeded combine earned three breakpoint chances, they wasted them all.
The Canadian-Czech pair upped the ante in the second set. Both teams got one break of serve each which led the set into the tie-break where Nestor and Stepanek proved a tad bit better to clinch it 8-6. The momentum had now shifted in favour of Stepanek and Nestor who went 6-0 up in the super tie-break. It was too difficult for the second seeds to make a comeback from there, losing the decider 4-10.