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Bhupathi advances, Bopanna exits

January 24, 2009 15:09 IST

Mahesh Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles advanced to the Australian Open men's doubles third round after a straight-set victory but it was curtains for Rohan Bopanna and his Finnish partner Jarkko Nieminen who lost their second-round match in Melbourne on Saturday.

Third seeds Bhupathi and Knowles had to fend off a tough fight from the unseeded Russian pair of Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov before emerging 7-5, 7-5 victorious in a 92-minute duel.

The Indo-Bahamian pair will next take on Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador and Tommy Robredo of Spain who defeated Bopanna and Nieminen 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.

Bhupathi and Knowles played near flawless tennis with no double faults and just three unforced to their opponents' 14 in the whole match. Though they had a slower service, the third seeded duo converted four out of nine break points that came their way. 

Bopanna and Nieminen, on the other hand, were error-prone and committed as many as 16 unforced errors to their opponents' 11. 

Another Indian, Leander Paes, and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy, seeded fourth, had also sailed into the third round defeating unseeded Italian-Croat pairing of Fabio Fognini and Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-4 on Friday.

Partnering Sania Mirza, Bhupathi has also made it to the second round of the mixed doubles.

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