London: India's Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea began their campaign at the Wimbledon championships with a hard-fought win over over Tim Smyczek and Jiri Vesley in the men's doubles, here today.
The ninth-seeded Indo-Romanian pair eked out a 6-3 7-6(1) 6-1 win over the unseeded American-Czech team in one hour and 26 minutes at court no. 19.
They next face winner of the first round match between pairs of Radek Stepánek/Mikhail Youzhny and Tomas
All it took Bopanna and Mergea to take the first set was just 25 minutes. They broke the rivals in the fourth game and kept holding their serve for a solid 4-1 lead. Smyczek and Vesley had two break chances but the ninth seeds saved them and served out the set in the ninth game.
Taking forward the first set domination, Bopanna and Mergea began the second set by breaking the Czech-American
combine in the very first game. However, Smyczek and Vesley stung back as they took four straight games for a 4-1 lead, rattling the fancied opponents.
Bopanna and Mergea regrouped, succeeded in breaking the rivals in the seventh game and held their own to make 4-all. They had a break opportunity in the ninth game as well but could not convert the chance. The two pairs held serve after that, leading to tie-breaker, where Bopanna and Mergea outclassed the American and Czech to take a 2-set lead. A break in the fourth game gave the ninth seeds a 3-1 cushion in the third set. Smyczek and Vesley had lost in the mind and it was a cake walk for Bopanna and Mergea after that.