Melbourne: India’s challenge ended in the men’s doubles event of the Australian Open with the defeat of Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor even as Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna progressed to the mixed doubles quarter finals with their respective partners, here Monday.
The fifth seeded duo of Bhupathi and Canadian partner Nestor was sent packing 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 by the unseeded Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the second round.
Defending champions Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek were shocked in the first round while Bopanna and Rajeev Ram could not go beyond the second. However, in the mixed doubles, all four Indian players are still alive with Sania and her new American partner Bob advancing with a come-from-behind win.
The third seeded team defeated the US team of Abigail Spears and Scott Lipsky 4-6, 6-1, 10-4 in the second round. They will now fight it out with the Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak for a place in the semi-finals.
Bopanna and his Taipei partner Su-Wei Hsieh also moved to the last-eight stage with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Daniela Hantuchova and Fabio Fognini.