Veteran Leander Paes is the only Indian standing at the Australian Open after he won his first-round mixed doubles match on Saturday.
Last year’s finalist Rohan Bopanna, however, bowed out in the first round, ending his challenge in Melbourne on a disappointing note.
Partnering Australian great Sam Stosur, the wildcard entrants beat Květa Peschke and Wesley Koolhof 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 15 minutes.
With a combined age of 79, the Indo-Australian pair were quick off the block in the easy win, with some o
Bopanna, who had paired up with Zhaoxuan Yang, went down 6-3, 3-6, 6-10 to fifth seeds Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Groenefeld. The Indian had reached the final of the mixed doubles with Timea Babos at the Australian Open last year, losing 6-2, 4-6, 9-11 to Mate Pavic and Gabriela Dabrowski.
Paes and Stosur will play the fifth seeds Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Gronefeld in the next round.
India’s challenge in the men’s doubles had already ended in the first round with Bopanna and Divij Sharan, seeded 15th, losing to Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia Lopez. Paes his Mexican partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela had lost to Austin Krajicek and Artem Sitak.