Bopanna bounced out of Australian Open by Bryan brothers 

While Uchiyama-Bopanna lost a three-set thriller to the Bryan Brothers, Sharan-Sitak recorded a fine win to progress at the Melbourne Park.

By Subhayan Dutta ·

Partnering Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama in the Australian Open men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna suffered a first round loss in Melbourne at the hands of the USA’s Bryan brothers – Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan – 1-6, 6-3, 3-6.

India’s only other competitor in the men’s doubles category at the Australian Open, Divij Sharan, however, kept the flag flying in his first-round match.

Pairing up with New Zealand’s Artem Sitak, the second-highest ranked Indian doubles ace defeated Spanish-Portuguese pair of Pablo Carreño Busta and João Sousa 6-4, 7-5.

Rusty start for Rohan Bopanna

Up against the thirteenth seeds, Bopanna and Uchiyama started slowly.

Losing their serve in the fourth and sixth games of the first set saw their American opponents wrap up the first set in 20 minutes by a 6-1 margin.

But set two was a much more competitive affair, as Bopanna and his Japanese team mate forced a crucial break in the eighth game from Mike Bryan's serve.

An ace from the veteran Indian sealed the set 6-3 and levelled the match at one set all.

However, in a topsy-turvy encounter it was the American duo who would prevail in the decider.

Once more, it was a single set break that proved decisive - this time being the service game of Uchiyama - as the Bryan pair triumphed in one hour and 19 minutes on court.

However, the Australian Open is not over for Bopanna, as he will now team up with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles event of the tournament.

Divij Sharan shows how it’s done

Meanwhile Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak got the better of a closely fought first round tie with Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa.

The first set hinged on a double fault from Carreno Busta in the seventh game.

The Spaniard's serve let him down on the crucial break point, enabling the Indo-New Zealand due to edge ahead.

Carreno Busta and Sousa forced a break point of their own in the tenth game, but Sharan and Sitak held firm and eventually clawed their way to the set 6-4.

However, Sharan and Sitak quickly ran into problems in the second set.

First, Sitak lost his serve in game four, allowing Carreno Busta/Sousa to open out a 3-1 lead.

But serving for the set at 5-4, Carreno Busta's service game once again came under pressure and - despite a couple of aces from the Spaniard - Sharan/Sitak broke back.

At 5-5, Joao Sousa also let his serve slip and that was enough for Sharan and Sitak to secure the 6-4, 7-5 win.

It was Sharan who converted the match point, with a smart volley at the net after nearly an hour and a half on court.

They will now face the winner of the tie between tenth seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares against Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan in the second round.