Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy launched their campaign in the Masters Cup on a losing note, going down 3-6, 5-7 to Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyet, in Shanghai, on Monday.
The sixth seeded Indo-Czech pair, drawn in the Gold group, lost to the fourth seeded Swede-Zimbabwean duo in an hour and 10 minutes.
Paes and Dlouhy now have to win their remaining two round-robin matches, as only the top two teams in the group make it to the semi-finals.
Paes and Dlouhy failed to convert their chances. They squandered three breakpoints in the first set while their opponents did not let go any chance, converting one break-point in each set.
Mahesh Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles had won their first match against Jeff Coetzee and Wesley Moody on Sunday.