India’s challenge ended in the men’s doubles event of the Australian Open with the defeat of Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor even as Sania Mirza and Bob Bryan progressed to the mixed doubles quarterfinals, here on Monday.
The fifth-seeded Bhupathi and Canadian partner Nestor were sent packing 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 by the unseeded Italian combo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the second round.
Defending champions Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek were shocked in the first round while Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram could not go beyond the second round. However, in the mixed doubles, all four Indian players are still alive with Sania and her new American partner Bob advancing to quarterfinals with a come-from-behind win.
The third-seeded Indo-American team defeated the US team of Abigail Spears and Scott Lipsky 4-6, 6-1, 10-4 in the second round.
They will now fight it out with Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak for a place in the semifinals. Bopanna and his Taipei partner Su-Wei Hsieh also moved to the last eight with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Fabio Fognini of Italy.
They next clash with Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.
Sania and Bopanna would fight against each other in the semifinals if they win their next matches, which means at least one Indian will be in title contention.