Heartbreak for Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes in doubles semis

Jul 05, 2013, 06:45 IST | Ranjona Banerji

The Indian challenge in the men's doubles has ended with both Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes losing their semi-finals with their respective partner, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Radek Stepanek.

While Marion Bartoli was demolishing Kirsten Flipkens on Centre Court, Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin took the first set from the Bryan brothers on Court no 1.

Bob (R) and Mike Bryan
Bob (R) and Mike Bryan celebrate their win over Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin. Pic/AFP.

This was a valiantly fought five-setter with some superb serving from Bopanna and some incomparable net dominance from Michael and Bob Bryan. When Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin were down 0-40 at 4 games to 5 in the first set, Bopanna brought the game back to deuce with his serving including three aces for the last three points. Bopanna then went on to win the tiebreak with an ace.

It did not take the Bryans long to strike back and they picked up the next two sets with ease, 6-4 and 6-3. And then when least expected, Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin fought back. The fourth set did not go according the script being laid out as the Indian and French pair gave it their all and won it 7-5.

The Bryans were having none of it and started the fifth set strong, with a 4-1 lead at one point. This gave them the advantage and the fifth set was won 6-3. And the Bryans are in another historic Wimbledon final.

Another five-setter
The story on court number 2 was quite different and another five setter. Most people would have expected Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek to meet the Bryans in the final. And the match certainly started that way. Under sun and cloud, in the first set, Paes and Stepanek demonstrated their trademark brand of aggression and smooth net play. They won the first set 6 3 and that’s when the script got lost.

Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil were not to be denied or ignored. They tightened up their game and starting attacking the Indian-Czech pair. They went on to win the next two sets 6-4 and 6-1 with a flurry of errors from Paes and Stepanek. The fourth set saw more of a fight and the Indian-Czech pair won it 6-3. The fifth went on serve until Dodig-Melo broke Paes to go up 5-3. Holding serve was all that was required and that’s what they did.

Sania Mirza and her partner Horia Tecau lost their quarters against Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic in two straight tiebreak sets.

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