Bopanna, Qureshi in round of 8

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

CHENNAI - The Indo-Pak Express of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi steamed into the quarter-finals of the doubles event in the Aircel ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament with a straight-set win against South Americans Marcos Daniel and Eduardo Schwank here Wednesday.

The Bangalore-born Bopanna and Lahores Qureshi, runners-up at the 2010 US Open, did not have much to fear from the Brazilian-Argentine combo that only showed some spark in the second set after losing the first set to force a tie-break.

The overall superiority of the Bopanna-Qureshi tandem was very obvious though they made it difficult for themselves with far too many unforced errors in the second set, but kept their nerves in the tie-break to wrap up the match that stretched to an hour and 19 minutes.

While Bopanna served well, Qureshi was impressive at the net where he displayed good hands-on skill in sharp contrast to their opponents who did not appear to have any set plans.

I was very nervous going into the match, but Rohan helped me relax. It is nice to get the first match out of the way, and hopefully we will play better in our next match, Qureshi said.

Bopanna and Qureshi next meet the Dutch-US pair of Robin Haase and David Martin.

Both of us were under some pressure in the match and it was important that we stayed relaxed. That is one reason why we kept smiling and laughing through the match, Bopanna said.

Meanwhile, on the outside court, the Thai pair of Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana eliminated fourth seeded British combination of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins to advance to the second round of the doubles event.

As if on cue, Americans Rajeev Ram and Scott Lipsky packed off third seeded Dustin Brown, Germany, and Rogier Wassen of Netherlands 6-1, 6-2.

The results:

Doubles (1st round): 2-Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK) bt Marcos Daniel (BRA) / Eduardo Schwank (ARG) 6-3, 7-6 (3); Sanchai Ratiwatana / Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) bt 4-Colin Fleming / Ross Hutchins (GBR) 7-6 (7), 6-1; Rajeev Ram / Scott Lipsky (US) bt Dustin Brown (GER) / Rogier Wassen (NED) 6-1, 6-2.

Filed under: Tennis

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