The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mirnyi illness spoils Bhupathi chance

Calcutta: A rare hattrick beckoned Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi. They were on an eight-match winning streak, but before they could hit a ball at the Barcelona Open, the top seeds had to pull out as the Belarussian fell ill.

“We had a bye in the first round and would have played on Wednesday or Thursday but Max developed high fever and had to withdraw,” Bhupathi informed The Telegraph.

“Since this happened late Tuesday, there was no scope of playing with another partner.”

Bhupathi caught the first flight out of Barcelona and is back home to spend 10 days with the family. He and Mirnyi resume their quest for more glory and dollars in Hamburg week after next.

Back-to-back titles in Estoril and Monte Carlo have pushed Bhupathi and Mirnyi to No. 7 on the team list. The Mark Knowles-Daniel Nestor duo remains top of the heap, followed by Frenchmen Fabrice Santoro and Michael Llodra.

Leander Paes — who is also taking a fortnight’s break to train in Orlando — and David Rikl occupy the fourth spot.

In the individual list, Bhupathi moved up one spot to No. 4, preceded by Knowles, Nestor and Mirnyi.

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