Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi finally got down to business in a clinical manner as they crushed Hong Kong’s Yu Hiu Tung and Wong Wing 6-0, 6-4 to enter the men’s doubles second round.
Even as the top seeded doubles pair in Doha decimated their opponents, the fourth-seeded doubles combination of Rohan Bopanna and Mustafa Ghouse got the better of Shehab Abdulrahaman and Mohamed Abdul Latif of Bahrain 6-2, 6-1 to move into the last-16 stage.
Later Leander, returning with Sania Mirza for the mixed doubles, thrashed Uzbekistan’s Murad Inoyatov and Dilyara Saidkhodjaeva 6-1, 6-3 in less than an hour to move into the quarterfinals.
There was disappointment earlier in the day when eighth-seeded Rohan Bopanna, who fought doggedly against Chinese-Taipei in the men’s team event, lost his singles first round to China’s Sun Peng 6-3, 6-3.
As for Leander and Mahesh, even though the opposition was mediocre, they had to put their heads down and play. They broke their rivals in the first, third and fifth games of the first set to win it 6-0 winners, with their first serve percentage being a high 92. It lasted just 15 minutes.
“The first set was quite easy but in the second they played some good tennis coupled with the fact that we missed three volleys,” said Leander, who did all the talking, after the match.
“That defeat (in the men’s team championship) was one of those bad days, but now we are completely focused on the task,” said Leander, who still has two fingers on his right hand strapped.
The second set got stretched a bit with the Hong Kong players breaking Mahesh’s serve in the second game. However, even while they trailed 1-3 against the young Hong Kong combination, the India pair was never in any trouble as their morale was high.
They came back in the fifth game with a break and Leander served to equalise at three-all. After that, it was an all-win situation for the defending champions as Leander served for the match after breaking the Hong Kong pair in the ninth game.
The Indians now take on the Kuwaiti pair of Ghareeb Mohammed and Ahmad Mohammad in the pre-quarter-finals, while fourth seeds Mustafa Ghouse and Rohan Bopanna clash with the Chinese-Taipei pair of Hsieh Wang Cheng and Lee Hsin Han.