Paes-Bhupathi get easy draw, road tough for Bopanna and Somdev | sports | Hindustan Times
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Paes-Bhupathi get easy draw, road tough for Bopanna and Somdev

sports Updated: Oct 01, 2010 19:48 IST

PTI
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Top seed Indian men's doubles pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have been handed out an easy draw but Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Devvarman were not as lucky and the duo will have to toil hard when the Commonwealth Games gets underway on Sunday.

In men's singles, Number one seed Somdev is likely to have a smooth run till the semifinals but Bopanna can't afford to have such a luxury as he, in all likelihood, will be up against second seed Peter Luczak of Australia in the second round itself.

In women's singles, second seed Sania Mirza, who has got a bye in the first round, would not only carry India's medal hopes but would also give herself a chance to revive her ailing career.

However, it would be the "Indian express" of Paes and Bhupathi who would be in the limelight and the duo starts favourites in the men's doubles.

But one cannot ignore the second seeded pair of Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Devvarman, especially after the former's runners-up finish at the US Open, partnering Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.

Number one seeds Paes and Bhupathi do not seem to face much trouble until the semi-final round, where they are likely to play either fourth seeded Australian pair of Paul Hanley and Peter Luczak or Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan, who face each other at the first round.

The pair, which proceeds to the second round is expected to beat their low-profile opponents to set up a semi-final clash with the 'Indian Express'.

However, Bopanna and Somdev have a tough road ahead as they would be up against a strong doubles pair of Jamie Murray (Andy Murray's brother) and Colin Fleming from Scotland at the first round.

Among others in fray, Rushmi Chakravarthi and Poojashree Venkatesha may just find it a little difficult as both of them are suppose to face seeded players early in the tournament.

In the women's doubles, Sania Mirza and Rushmi, having got a bye in the first round would surely end up picking up a medal for India.

While, former India number one player Nirupama Sanjeeva and Poojashree, especially with the former yet to reach the best form, will have a tough task at hand unless they raise their game.

In the mixed doubles, the duo of Paes and Sania would be a star attraction as they both are capable of producing some brilliant tennis together.

Another young Indian mixed doubles pair of Bopanna and Nirupama, who face top seeds Anastasia Rodionova and Paul Hanley of Australia, would find it tough but with Nirupama's fine hits and Bopanna's big game they may just turn out to be the dark horse.

India are likely to end up with a few podium finishes at the Commonwealth Games as a number of star players Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Murray and Marcos Baghdatis have pulled out and some of the Indian players in top form.