File photo of Rohan Bopanna.© AFP
India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Darija Jurak Schreiber crashed out of the first round of the Australian Open mixed doubles tennis event after losing to Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev and Ukraine’s Lyudmila Kichenok on Saturday. The Bopanna-Schreiber pair lost 6-1, 4-6, 9-11 in one hour and three minutes. Bopanna and Schreiber came out with intent and converted two of the three breakpoints to win the first set 6-1 after just one unforced error.
However, Golubev-Kichenok came back strongly to take a 4-2 lead in the second set.
Bopanna and Schreiber were broken three times in the second set and the Indian team took a 2-4 lead for the first time.
Bopanna and Schreiber won the next two games but Golubev and Kichenok won the set 6-4, taking the match into a super tiebreaker.
Bopanna and Schreiber were leading 9-6 in the decider, but Golubev and Kichenok sealed it in their favor after saving three match points and converting themselves.
Sania Mirza, who entered the second round of mixed doubles with her American partner Rajeev Ram, is the only Indian to field in the first Grand Slam of the season.
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