Mahesh Bhupathi and his South African partner Kevin Anderson went down fighting in a thrilling three-setter men’s doubles match against the pair of Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil to crash out of Sony Open tennis tournament.
The unseeded Indo-South African pair lost to their second seeded opponents 4-6 6-4 6-10 in a gruelling one hour and 28 minute first round contest of the hard court event.
The two pairs refused to give an inch to each other but the Indo-South African pair lost the plot in the deciding set.
Peya-Soares combine was the better of the two pairs in the first set, winning two service breaks. Bhupathi and Anderson did the same once but lost the first set 4-6.
Bhupathi and Anderson fought their way back into the match by winning the lone service break of the second set which they won 6-4.
In the decider, Peya and Soares served better and won more return points to run away 10-6 winners and wrap up the match.
Rohan Bopanna remained the only Indian in men`s doubles after he and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan won their second round match against Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-2 in a 55-minute first round match.
The seventh seeded `Indo-Pak Express` duo play the Colombian pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the second round.
The third Indian in the men`s doubles, Leander Paes, and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek had also lost in the first round.
In the women`s tournament, being held simultaneously, Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black, seeded fifth in the tournament, have advanced to the second round after defeating Taipei pair of Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan.