London: The Indo-Pak pair of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam ul Haq Qureshi made an impressive start to their men's doubles campaign at the Wimbledon beating unfancied pair of Frantisek Cermak and Mikhail Elgin in straight sets 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 in the opening round, here today.
Rohan Bopanna and Aisam ul Haq Qureshi
In a late match yesterday, India's Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black hardly broke sweat while defeating former singles champion Martin Hingis and Russian Vera Zvonareva in straight sets 6-2 6-4.
Bopanna-Qureshi today were in complete control of the proceedings even though the Russian-Czech combination did stretch them to successive tie-breaks in the first two sets.
However the experienced duo prevailed in little over two hours as they clinched the issue on big points during both the tie-breaks after both the pairs held on to their serves. Bopanna's booming serves came in handy during both the tie-breaks while they got the much needed service break in the third set to close down on the match.
The Indo-Pak Express were brilliant with their first serve as they won a whopping 87 percent points. The duo also served up as many as eight aces, most of which were fired by Bopanna. The eighth seeded pair will now meet Vasek Pospisil of Canada and Jack Sock of the United States in their second round match.
Meanwhile on a day when Indians made it count at Wimbledon, veteran star Leander Paes also made his presence felt with a doubles first-round win with partner Radek Stepanek. The fifth-seeded Indo-Czech pair served past Mariusz Frystenberg of Poland and Rajeev Ram of USA 6-2 7-6 3-6 6-4 to advance to the second round.
Paes and Stepanek won the first set easily but won the second in a 7-4 tie-breaker. With the Polish-US pair pulling one back the pressure was once again on Paes-Stepanek. The Indo-Czech duo though kept its cool to break the opponents once in the fourth set and take the match with considerable ease.