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Gone in 95 minutes

sports Updated: Jun 01, 2012 02:08 IST
Mahesh Bhupathi

Despite hitting eight aces and as many winners, sixth-seeded Indians Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna suffered a first-round exit at the French Open to Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Marc Gicquel, losing 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in 95 minutes.

Having won the first set comfortably, converting two of the four breakpoints they earned, Bhupathi and Bopanna looked all set to move into the next round of the tournament.

But Gicquel and Roger-Vasselin had other plans. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/6/01_06_pg20a.jpg

They stretched the Indians in the next set as the French combo held on to every single opportunity, converting the only breakpoint they got to fetch the set 7-5.

High on confidence, the Frenchmen hardly spared an inch to their rivals in the deciding set and sealed it 6-3.

With their shock first-round exit in the French Open, Bhupathi (ranked 13) and Bopanna's (ranked 12) chances of participation in the Olympics has taken a hit as they need to be in top-10 before the June 11 cut-off mark to make a direct entry into the men's doubles event of the London Olympics.

A top-10 player has the liberty to choose his partner, irrespective of his ranking, for the competition although the final decision is taken by the national association.

Under the current scenario, Bhupathi and Bopanna will have to hope that the players ranked ahead of them fail early for the Indians to qualify as a team.

Now, Leander Paes (ranked seventh) is the only Indian in the top-10 and he can choose a partner for the London Games.

And if the All India Tennis Association (AITA) decide to field just one team for the Olympics, either Bhupathi or Bopanna is going to miss out the quadrennial event.

This is the second disappointment for India in the French Open after Sania Mirza lost in the first round of the women doubles event along with her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Bopanna, pairing with Lisa Raymond in the mixed doubles, went down 6-7, 6-4, 6-10 to the unseeded team of Natalie Grandin and Paul Hanley in the opening round on Wednesday.