Paes, Raja out of US Open doubles; Sania, Bopanna advance

Leander Paes and Purav Raja lost 4-6, 6-7 to the Russian duo of Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov, while Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna advanced to the next round in their respective events.

Leander Paes (left) and Purav Raja partnered together last month after the latter’s regular partnership with Divij Sharan failed to get them a direct entry into the US Open.   -  Sandeep Saxena (File Photo)

India’s Leander Paes and Purav Raja lost 4-6, 6-7 in straight sets to the Russian team of Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov in the second round of the men’s doubles event at the US Open on Sunday.

The first set was evenly poised till 3-3, before a combination of a crosscourt forehand shot from Rublev and a precise down-the-line winner from Khachanov helped them break the Indian duo. Paes and Raja were not helped by a couple of errors, including two double faults, ultimately surrendering 6-4 in the first set.

They were close to being broken in the first game of the second set too, but a deft pass from the net by Purav and a couple of errors from the Russians ensured a firm hold. A slug fest ensued as both teams traded breaks - Paes and Raja were broken in the third game, only to break back in the tenth thanks to a rare double fault from Rublev.

The second set quickly moved on to a tightly contested tiebreak following which, even if the Indians were able to make inroads, the Russians emerged victorious.

The match was an interesting clash between veteran Paes and rising star Rublev, as they traded back and forth shots at the net. This is 44-year-old Paes’ 14th consecutive appearance at Flushing Meadows, while 19-year-old Rublev is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open.

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, meanwhile, advanced to the next round in their respective events. Sania and her Chinese partner Peng Shuai defeated Sorana Cirstea and Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 3-6, 7-6.

Bopanna and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski defeated the Spanish-American duo of María Jose Martinez Sanchez and Nicholas Monroe 6-3, 6-4. They will meet Michael Venus and Chan Hao-ching in the quarter-finals.