India's challenge in the men's doubles competition at the London Olympics came to an end on Wednesday with the makeshift pair of Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan going down fighting to the French combine of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra.
The French pair won 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.
The other Indian pair in London, that of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, had exited the competition a day earlier.
Paes and Vardhan did well to stay in the contest in the opening set, holding all their six service games. However, they failed to threaten the French serve even once.
In the ensuing tie-break, the fact that both Tsonga and Llodra are big servers was always going to favour the French, and so it was with them racing through the same with ease.
The Indian pair started the second set on a good note, though, breaking Tsonga's serve in the opening game. It went on serve thereafter, with Paes serving out the set in the 10th game.
Games went with serve in the third set for the first seven games. However, the French pair had the advantage of serving first. And they took full advantage of the same, securing two break-points on Paes's serve in the eighth game, which was duly converted, giving the French a 5-3 lead.
Llodra had little difficulty is serving out the match, with the game going to deuce thrice.
Eventually, Paes sent a backhand long to hand victory to the French pair and end the Indian hopes.
To Vardhan's credit, though, he did not lose his serve in the match and gave a good account of himself.
Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images