For a second straight day, India suffered a blow to their hopes at year’s first Grand Slam tournament with Rohan Bopanna and his men’s doubles partner Ben McLachlan exiting Australian Open 2021 in the first round itself following a straight set defeat. Bopanna and his Japanese partner Ben McLachlan lost to Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song in the men’s doubles event in Melbourne. Also Read - Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic Beats Daniil Medvedev For Record-Extending Ninth Title at Melbourne Park, Wins 18th Grand Slams Title Overall
On Tuesday, Sumit Nagal exited after losing in the first round of the men’s singles event. India’s hopes now rest on Divij Sharan (in men’s doubles) and debutant Ankita Raina (in women’s doubles). Also Read - Australian Open 2021 HIGHLIGHTS FINAL 2021 Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Live Updates: Djokovic Beats Medvedev in Straight Sets to Win 9th Australian Open Title
Bopanna-McLachlan lost 4-6, 6-7 (0) to the Korean wild card pair in one hour and 17 minutes. The Indian didn’t get enough practice in the lead up to the tournament as he underwent a hard quarantine due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and it reflected on his performance on the court. Also Read - Australian Open 2021 Final Live Streaming Tennis: When And Where to Watch Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Men's Final
McLachlan, too struggled, as he failed to negotiate volleys.
Bopanna spent 14 days in his room and came out only on January 30, jumping into the tune-up event, only to lose his opening round with Frederik Nielsen. The Indian did not get enough competition time to be ready for the season’s first major.
He lost his serve in the opening set and that initial break stayed with the Korean players, who executed their plan with precision to take the first set. It was expected to be an easy match for the Indo-Japanese pair but the good chemistry of the lower-ranked Koreans, who played to their strength, made it tough for them.
Bopanna and McLachlan struggled with returns as Song and Nam easily smashed volley winners to stay ahead.
Failing to put away a volley in the tie-breaker, McLachlan banged his racquet on the court out of frustration, narrowly escaping injury as his racquet bounced off the court to hit him on the head. A forehand error from the Japanese ended their campaign when Nam served for the match.
With PTI inputs