Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan's Grand Slam debut ended in the first round itself but not without a valiant fight as he and Jared Donaldson lost a gruelling five-setter while Sania Mirza advanced to the women’s doubles second round of the Wimbledon championships in London.
Nedunchezhiyan and his American partner 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.
The 28-year-old Chennai lad, who entered the Championships in dramatic fashion, said their rivals played a lot better in the third set tie-break which changed the momentum and then the match.
"It was close and only a few points separated the team even though we were up by two sets. We had our chances to close it out at 6-5 in the third set. We played a good game but were unable to break. In the tie-break, they made more returns than us as a team and it cost us," Nedunchezhiyan said.
"The fifth set, they were the team with better energy and deserved to win," he said graciously.
The left-hander also felt that playing with regular partner can help clinch such matches. He had teamed up Donaldson at the last minute.
"I played a good match and Jared gave me his best effort. It’s easier to learn things with a set partner and certain times, lack of playing together and experience showed.
"Hopefully, in future I can close out such matches. It’s just my second year on doubles tour and there will be more opportunities because I am hungry to get better,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the women’s doubles, Sania and Kirsten Flipkens, seeded 13th, easily dispatched Naomi Osaka and Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-3 in their opening match.
Also advancing to the second round of men’s doubles were Purav Raja and Divij Sharan who pipped Kyle Edmunds and Joao Sousa 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(8).