French Open: Paes, Bopanna ousted in men's doubles; Sania advances

Paris: Indian stars Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna were knocked out with their partners in the quarter-finals of the men's doubles while Sania Mirza cruised in the mixed doubles quarters of the French Open tennis tournament here on Wednesday. The third-seeded pair of Croatia's Ivan Dodig and Brazil's Marcelo Melo defeated sixth seeds Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes to progress to the semi-finals of the tournament. The fifth-seeded American pair of Bob Bryan and his brother Mike outclassed the 16th seeded Paes and his Polish partner Marcin Matkowski 7-6 (12), 6-3 in one hour and 39 minutes in the quarters to enter the last four stage. The second-seeded Sania and her mixed doubles partner Ivan Dodig of Croatia defeated the French pair of Alize Cornet and Jonathan Eysseric 6-7 (6), 6-4, 10-8 in one hour and 40 minutes in the second round to enter the quarter-finals in style. The match between Dodig-Melo and Bopanna-Mergea began on a positive note for both sides as they won their service games to make it 3-3. But Dodig-Melo broke their opponents' serve at a crucial juncture of the set to grab the advantage. The third seeds made the best use of the advantage to win all their serves thereafter to claim the first set 6-4. In the second set, the Croatian-Brazilian combine dominated the proceedings and broke Bopanna-Mergea yet again to seize the initiative and went on to win the set 6-4 and claim the match. On the other hand, Paes and Matkowski got off to a positive start against the formidable Bryan brothers. Both sides displayed their best winning individual games and broke their opponent once each to take the set to 6-6. The set then went into the tie-breaker. The tie-breaker saw an intense battle and the set was eventually decided when the Bryan brothers edged past their opponents, beating them 14-12 to take 1-0 lead. In the second set, it was a one-sided affair as fifth seeds Bob and Mike broke Paes and Matkowski's serve twice to grab the set 6-3 and comfortably cruise into the last four stage. Later on in the day, Sania and her partner Dodig fought well in a see-saw battle which went on to be decided in the tie-break where the French pair won 8-6. But the second-seeded pair of Sania and Dodig came back strongly in the second set to win two break points to eventually win the set 6-4 and level things up at 1-1. The match then went into a super tie-breaker, where Sania and Dodig held their nerves by playing sensibly to win it 10-8 to finally make it to the quarters.