Wimbleon: The Indo-Romanian tennis duo of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea entered the quarter-finals, while India's Leander Paes and Canada's Daniel Nestor crashed out in the third round of the men's doubles event of the Wimbledon Championships here on Monday.
Bopanna-Mergea earned a hard fought victory against the Polish-Belarusian pair of Lukasz Kubot and Max Mirnyi 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6 (8) after an epic battle that stretched for three hours and 20 minutes.
While Paes-Nestor went down to Brazilian Bruno Soares and Austrian Alexander Peya 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6 in a battle which lasted two hours and 42 minutes.
Sixth seeded Bopanna-Mergea fought hard as the match was evenly contested all the way through, as indicated by the scoreline, with each of the four sets contested stretching to tiebreakers as both the teams found it difficult to break its opponents serves and impose itself on their opponents.
The two teams matched each other shot to shot and match statistics were almost identical. But Bopanna-Mergea edged out their opponents, though marginally, in the unforced errors and total points to claim the contest.
The Indo-Romanian pair forced their opponents to 18 unforced errors, three more than them, and won 169 points compared to 166 by the Polish-Belarusian duo.
But the winning duo hit 22 aces and 35 winners, way more than the vanquished team's nine and 20, respectively, which settled the fate of the keen contest.
In the quarters, Bopanna-Mergea will face the winner of the match between top seeded American brothers duo of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan and Croatian-New Zealand pair of Mate Pavic and Michael Venus.
Paes and Nestor who were seeded 11th, lost to eighth seed Bruno Soares and Alexander Peya. Soares and Peya started the match on a positive note winning 13 out of 17 first serve points, also earning the only break point to take the first set 6-3.
The second set saw similar results in favour of the eighth seeds as they played aggressively and winning two out of two break points to win the set and go two set-up in the match.
The 11th seeds Paes and Nestor returned strongly in the third set as they won 13 out of 15 first serve points and winning two break points out of four to take the third set 6-3.
The fourth set also saw positive results coming their way as some hard-fought tennis helped them level things up.
The fifth set saw Soares and Peya coming back to rhythm as they again played aggressively winning 19 out of 23 first serve points and also winning two crucial break points out of four to seal the fifth set and the match and enter the quarter-finals in style.