India's [ Images ] challenge ended in the men's doubles at the Australian Open [ Images ] with the defeat of Mahesh Bhupathi [ Images ] and Daniel Nestor [ Images ] even as Sania Mirza [ Images ] and Rohan Bopanna [ Images ] progressed to the mixed doubles quarter-finals, in Melbourne [ Images ], on Monday.
Fifth seeded Bhupathi and Canadian partner Nestor were sent packing 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 by the unseeded Italian combo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the second round of the men's doubles.
Defending champions Leander Paes [ Images ] and Radek Stepanek were shocked in the first round while Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram could not go beyond the second.
However, in the mixed doubles, all four Indian players are still alive. Sania and her new American partner Bob Bryan advanced to the quarter-finals after a come-from-behind victory.
The third seeded Indo-American pair defeated the US team of Abigail Spears and Scott Lipsky 4-6, 6-1, 10-4 in the second round.
They will now fight it out with Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak for a place in the semi-finals.
They next clash with Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.
Sania and Bopanna will clash in the semi-finals if they win their next round matches, which means at least one Indian will be in title contention at the first Grand Slam of the year.
Image: Sania Mirza and Bob Bryan at the Australian Open.
Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images)