Leander Paes knocked out at Dubai Tennis Championships

Paes and partner Matthew Ebden were beaten in straight sets in the quarter-final.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Veteran Indian tennis player Leander Paes and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden bowed out of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday as they fell 3-6, 3-6 in their quarter-final tie against the Finn-German pair of Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff.

The match was delayed by almost three hours after Jan-Lennard Struff fought it out against Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas in his singles quarter-final. He eventually lost to the second seed in three sets.

However, the German shrugged off any fatigue he may have experienced as he and Henri Kontinen consistently held their serves in the opening set and even broke Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden in the sixth game to take a decisive 4-2 lead.

The one opening was all they needed, as though the Indo-Australian pair held serve at the next time of asking, Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff successfully served out to take the first set 6-3.

The second set again saw both pairs vying for every inch of the court until the seventh game when Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden saved two break points but ultimately conceded the deciding point on deuce to trail 3-4.

Their opponents duly held serve and then bamboozled the Indo-Australian pair in the ninth game, not letting them win any serve points to close out the set convincingly and with it, the match.

Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff will next face the fourth-seeded South African-Austrian pair of Raven Klaasen and Oliver Marach in the semi-final of the Dubai Tennis Championships. The latter had got past Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic 7-5, 6-4 earlier in the day.

Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden suffered their third consecutive loss in the knockout stages

Leander Paes’ unlucky farewell tour

The Indian tennis legend had announced that 2020 would be his last year on the court but has gone deep in tournaments without being rewarded with a trophy at the end.

The pair bowed out of the Tata Open Maharashtra in the quarter-finals, losing to the Indian tennis duo of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan.

A week later, Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden made it to the final of the Bengaluru Tennis Open, an ATP Challenger event but could not make it count, falling once again to the aforementioned Indian tennis pair.

Before that, he did not manage to move past the second round of the Australian Open mixed doubles, a crown he has won three times in the past.

Paes has been named in the Davis Cup squad for the Indian tennis team’s fixture against Croatia and one could yet witness him in action for India at Olympics 2020 in what could be his record eighth appearance at the Games.