New Delhi: On a day of mixed fortune for India, Mahesh Bhupathi and his British partner Jamie Murray crashed out of the men’s doubles event at Cincinnati Masters, even though his estranged partner Leander Paes teamed up with Martin Damm to book a quarterfinal berth in the $2,200,000 ATP event.
In pre-quarterfinals, top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan swamped the Bhupathi-Murray pair 6-3, 6-2, while Paes and Damm, seeded fourth, downed Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Arnaud Clement 6-4, 7-5 to set up a quarterfinal clash with fifth seeds Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett.
Smarting from their defeat at the hands of Bhupathi and Pavel Viznar in the Montreal semifinals, the Bryan brothers were eager to settle the score with the Indian and they maintained a tight grip over the proceedings to avoid a repeat of their last week’s reverse.
Throughout the match, the Bryans did not face a single break point and lost just 11 points on serve, which give a good idea of their stranglehold.
Paes and Damm, however, had a fruitful outing as they got the better of the French duo of Benneteau and Clement.
First set in their pocket, Paes and Damm broke their opponents twice to race to a 5-2 lead in the second when they relaxed their grip for a while, allowing Benneteau and Clement to reduce the gap.
The Indo-Czech pair, however, soon regrouped and clinched the match by serving it out in the 12th game.