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Indo-Pak Express rolls on

cricket Updated: Jan 06, 2011 00:30 IST
Deepti Patwardhan
Deepti Patwardhan
Hindustan Times
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Rohan Bopanna was as bad with a cricket bat, as he was good with a tennis racquet in hand.

Brushing aside the defeat at the hands of Stanislas Wawrinka in the singles on Monday, the Indian, more confident sharing the court with his Pakistani partner Aisam Qureshi, took charge to help the Indo-Pak Express to the first win of the season.

Bopanna-Qureshi played a solid brand, which saw them rise to no.8 in the doubles rankings at the end of last year, to dismiss Marcos Daniel and Eduardo Schwank 6-3, 7-6 (3) to enter the quarter-finals of the Chennai Open.

"I was a little nervous going into this match, first match of the year," said Qureshi. "I was a little rusty but thanks to Rohan, who was serving big bombs, we got through."

The Indian fired nine aces out of the team's count of 11 and provided the solidity at the back of the court, leaving Qureshi to take control over the net.

The duo, who next meets, Robin Haase and David Martin in the quarters, then engaged in a little game of cricket.

Qureshi bowled, and bowled again, but Bopanna was unable to send the ball in the crowd. Either way, India should be glad he chose to pursue tennis and not cricket.

Another cruise for Berdych

The top seed hasn't put a foot wrong since coming to Chennai. Carrying on his lethal form from the first round, where he dropped just one game, Tomas Berdych eased past Croatia's Ivan Dodig 6-2, 6-4 in the second on Wednesday.

"No match is easy," said the world number six after making it to the quarter-finals. "It's important for me to play at 100 per cent and take every chance I get and then if you get some more chances, the score looks easy."