Indian tennis’ old guard, Leander Paes and Australian partner, Matthew Ebden ousted the second-seeded Croatian-Slovakian pair of Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the men’s doubles round of 16 at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday.
Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden were evenly matched with their opponents in the first set as each conceded their serves once in the third and fourth games but were able to hold on thereafter. However, the Indian tennis veteran and his Australian partner crucially broke again in the ninth game and then served out the set to take the lead.
The second set saw Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden raise their service game as the duo went unbroken throughout. It looked like the set was heading to the tie-breaker until the seventh game when the Paes-Ebden duo won the deciding point at deuce.
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek were stung by that as the Indo-Australian team held their serve in the next game and then broke them again in what turned out to be the final game of the match.
The pair of Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden will next face Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Their opponents had earlier knocked out Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Carreno Busta in the qualifiers.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran bows out
Indian tennis’ top-ranked men’s player, Prajnesh Gunneswaran could not make the most of his wildcard entry as he fell 4-6, 3-6 to Austrian Dennis Novak in the men’s singles round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships earlier in the day.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran competed well for large parts in the first set, winning his first break-point in the third game to gain an advantage but was broken back in the very next game. The Indian tennis ace held fort until the tenth game, where he was broken once again and conceded the set.
The second set saw a similar pattern play out but this time it was Prajnesh Gunneswaran who blinked first, conceding his serve in the fourth game although broke Dennis Novak right back.
However, the 30-year-old Indian tennis player was broken again in the eighth game, giving his opponent the chance to serve for the match, which he did with ease.