Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the men's doubles event in the very first round to end India's hopes in one of the most controversial events. The duo lost in straight sets to Poland’s Marcin Matkowski & Lukasz Kubot 4-6, 6-7 (6-7) as Paes' seven-Olympics legacy comes to an end.
Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna have taken disproportionate attention space in the run-up to the Olympics. With Paes finally arriving on Thursday, all speculations were put to bed, and the duo even practiced a bit to ease into the zone. It is another matter that it is all a bit late as they have been playing with different partners in the run-up to the Games, and this was their first session together.
The duo faced Poland’s Marcin Matkowski & Lukasz Kubot - both Paes’ ex-doubles partners. While that means they know Paes’ game first-hand, Paes knows both of theirs - 2-1 even before the match had started.
However, the match was off to a yo-yo first set with the Polish pair bringing on a break point at 1-2. But, Paes and Bopanna saved it and made it 2-2. Then, they broke their opponents to make it 3-2 only to be broken back. Score 3-3.
After Paes and Bopanna made it 4-3, the Polish pair rattled off three straight games to take the first set.
The second set was again a neck-to-neck affair as the Polish pair went ahead at 5-4. Serving to stay in the tournament, the Indian pair won the game and then broke their opponents to make it 6-5. But, Matkowski and Kubot drew par to make it 6-6 and precipitate the tie-breaker.
The Indians went down 1-4 but clawed back to 4-4 and then brought up the set-point at 6-5. But they once again lost it as the Polish pair made two consecutive points to make it 7-6 and oust the Indians from the tournament.