Millennium Post

Roland Garros: Bhupathi-Bopanna crashes out in first round

The Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the French Open men's doubles event after losing to French duo of Marc Gicquel and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the opening round here on Thursday.

The sixth-seeded Indians were shocked by the unseeded Frenchmen, who came from a set down to snatch the match 1-6 7-5 6-3 in an hour and 35 minutes.

Having won the first set comfortably, converting two of the four breakpoints they earned, Bhupathi and Bopanna looked all set to move into the next round of the tournament.

But Gicquel and Roger-Vasselin had other plans. They stretched the Indians in the next set as the French combo held on to every single opportunity, converting the only breakpoint they got to fetch the set 7-5.

High on confidence, the Frenchmen hardly spared an inch to their rivals in the deciding set and sealed it 6-3.

With their shock first-round exit in the French Open, Bhupathi (ranked 13) and Bopanna's (ranked 12) chances of participation in the Olympics has taken a hit as they need to be in top-10 before the June 11 cut-off mark to make a direct entry into the men's doubles event of the London Olympics.

A top-10 player has the liberty to choose his partner, irrespective of his ranking, for the competition although the final decision is taken by the national association.

Under the current scenario, Bhupathi and Bopanna, in all likelihood, would not be able to play as a team in the Olympics.

Now, Leander Paes (ranked seventh) is the only Indian in the top-10 and he can choose a partner for the London Games.

And if the All India Tennis Association (AITA) decide to field just one team for the Olympics, either Bhupathi or Bopanna is going to miss out the quadrennial event.

This is the second disappointment for India in the French Open after Sania Mirza lost in the first round of the women doubles event along with her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
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