Leander Paes' 23rd Wimbledon appearance didn't go according to plan. The veteran ended with a men's doubles first round defeat in a gruelling five-setter against Julian Knowle and Philipp Oswald on Thursday. Playing with Adil Shamasdin, the Indo-Canadian pair lost 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-7(2) 8-10 to the Austrian opponents in a match that lasted just a minute short of four hours. Paes and Shamadin have won two Challenger level titles together in the 2017 season.
In a long-drawn fifth set, Paes and his Canadian partner lost serve at 8-8 and their rivals grabbed the opportunity to serve out the match in the next game.
Among the other Indians in the fray, the Indian combination of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan won the first round on Wednesday while former world No 1 Sania Mirza and new partner Kirsten Flipkens breezed through their first round women's doubles match.
The only disappointment in the Indian camp on Wednesday came when Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, playing at Wimbledon for the first time, lost a close-fought battle with partner Jared Donaldson in the first round. The Indo-American duo lost 7-6 (4) 7-5 6-7(3) 0-6 3-6 to British pair of Marcus Willis and Jay Clarke after fighting hard for three hours and 15 minutes on court number nine.
(With PTI inputs)