London: Indian challenge ended in the men’s doubles event of the Wimbledon Championships as Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek and the pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna suffered contrasting defeats in their respective matches here on Tuesday.
While fourth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek were stunned by Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in a gruelling weather-hit five-setter, Bhupathi and Bopanna lost in straight sets to Mikhael Elgin and Denis Istomin.
Paes and Stepanek resumed Monday’s suspended third round match to lose 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-6(2) 6-8 after fighting for two hours 49 minutes.
Paes and Stepanek were trailing behind the 15th seeds Croat-Brazilian pair 6-4 3-6 3-4 (0-30) when rain had forced suspension of play on Monday.
Bhupathi and Bopanna, who had rebelled against the AITA to be paired as a team for London Olympics, lost their second round match 5-7 6-7 (3) 3-6 in two hours and four minutes.
Paes and Stepanek came back strongly by winning the fourth set via tie-breaker and pushed the match to the deciding fifth set.
The decider, as like the other sets, tested both the pairs as they were locked 6-6 at one stage with no team relenting. However, rains forced another suspension, which lasted more than two hours, and the break broke the momentum of Paes and Stepanek.
They were trailing 6-7 when rains hit the court and they were broken immediately after the start of the play.
Paes and Stepanek were gunning for their second Grand Slam title together after winning the Australian Open in January.
Paes is still in the fray as he is playing in the second round of the mixed doubles, partnering Elena Vesnina.