There was more disappointment for the Indian fans at the Chennai Open on Thursday as Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi lost in the quarter-finals of the men's doubles.
The 'Indo-Pak Express' were beaten 4-6, 5-7 by the Dutch-American duo of Robin Hasse and David Martin. The second seeds had scored a comfortable 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over the Argentine-Brazilian combine of Eduardo Scwanck and Marcos Daniel in their first match.
However, on Thursday they lacked cohesion and failed to take the opportunities that came their way.
Bopanna got broken in the seventh game of the opening set while Qureshi dropped his serve twice in the second set. And though one break of serve was restored the second proved to be a tall order.
"They returned very well, especially Hasse," admitted Bopanna, adding, "They came in hard at us."
His partnered concurred. "Personally, I thought we played better than we did yesterday," explained Qureshi, adding, "However, there were a few tactical errors on our part. And to their credit, they managed to play the bigger points better."
It was for the second successive match that Hasse and Martin had disaappointed the home fans, having earlier accounted for Asian Games gold medallists Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh in their opener.
With the home challenge over in the singles on the second day of the tournament itself, all hopes will be now trained on the ever-dependable pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
The Indian Express, four-time champions here and using the tournament as a preparation for the year's first major - the Australian Open, take on the British-German pair of Ken Skupski and Philipp Marx in their last eight match on Friday.