The Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the men's doubles event at the London Olympics, losing in straight sets to French pair of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet, here on Tuesday.
The final result was 6-3 6-4 in favour of the Frenchmen as they closed out the match in only 77 minutes. It was a tough match for the Bhupathi-Bopanna pair after its grueling three-setter against Belarusian pair of Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury.
The loss is made more acute by the fact that Bhupathi and Bopanna arm-twisted the All India Tennis Association (AITA) into into sending them as a pair to London. There was much controversy; ace Leander Paes was isolated as Mahesh Bhupathi insisted that his pairing with Bopanna had more medal chances at the Olympics.
India's tennis medal hopes are now pinned on Leander Paes, who is partnering Vishnu Vardhan in the men's doubles and Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles.
Paes and Vardhan will play France's Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tonight while with Sania Mirza, Leander will play Serbia's Ana Ivanovic and Nenad Zimonjic. Paes was forced to partner with Vishnu Vardhan for the first time after Bhupathi said no to playing with him.
Bhupathi-Bopanna, seeded seventh, were no match yesterday for Gasquet and Benneteau - both of whom are singles specialists. The French pair broke the Indian pair's serve on three occasions - once in the first set and twice in the second set.
Bopanna, known for his booming serves, was broken twice in the second set despite the Indian pair leading 3-0.
It was a match gifted on the platter to the French pair after they had a convincing lead, as Bopanna lost his serve in the fourth and ninth game of the second set respectively.