California: Third-seeded Indian pair Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were stunned by India's Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, 6-3, 6-4, in the second round of the men's doubles at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 BNP Paribas tennis tournament here on Tuesday.
Paes and Bhupathi, who missed India's Davis Cup tie against Serbia in the first week of this month, nursing injuries, were not at their customary best and Bopanna and Qureshi showed greater grit and determination in overcoming their famed opponents.
Paes and Bhupathi had a point to break back and level the scores 5-5 in the second set, but Bopanna and Qureshi wriggled out of a tight corner and went on to clinch the tie.
The hard-serving Bopanna clearly made a difference. The Indian, who also qualified for the singles here, continued his recent good form. He and his partner invariably served out of trouble, firing eight aces in the match, whereas Paes and Bhupathi could only manage one. Both pairs had five double-faults each.