Yuki Bhambri, making his senior debut at the Australian Open, had a fruitful day. With partner Michael Venus of New Zealand, the duo made the second round. (AFP photo)
Yuki Bhambri and his New Zealand partner Michael Venus recorded a straight-set win on their Grand Slam debut but Divij Sharan’s Australian Open campaign ended in the first round, in Melbourne on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old and his Kiwi partner defeated Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2 7-5 in their opening round contest, which lasted one hour and 11 minutes.
Yuki and Venus, who won wild card play-off tournament to enter the first major of the season, now have a tough job at hand now as they face 10th seeded Horea Tecau and Jean-Julien Roger in the second round.
Also advancing to the second round was veteran Indian Mahesh Bhupathi and his American partner Rajeev Ram. They came from behind to beat Santiago Giraldo from Columbia and Joao Sousa from Portugal 4-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and two minutes.
They now lock horns against the second-seeded pair of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.
However, the defeat of left-handed Divij denied India an all-win day. Divij and his Taipei partner Yen-Husn Lu lost 2-6 4-6 to Johan Brunstrom from Sweden and Frederik Nielsen from Denmark. This was Divij’s third Grand Slam appearance and the second with Lu. Lu and Divij had earlier made the third round at the US Open.
On Thursday, Leander Paes and partner Radek Stepanek will be seen in action against Lukas Dlouhy and Lukas Rosol. Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza will also be seen in action. While Bopanna will be playing with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Sania is partnering Cara Black.