Jeevan, Paes fall; Sania progresses


Nedunchezhiyan and his American partner lost 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-7(3), 0-6, 3-6 to British pair of Marcus Willis and Jay Clarke after fighting hard for three hours and 15 minutes on court number nine.

The 28-year-old Chennai lad, who entered the Championships in dramatic fashion, said their rivals played a lot better in the third set tie-break which changed the momentum and then the match.

“It was close and only a few points separated the team even though we were up by two sets. We had our chances to close it out at 6-5 in the third set. We played a good game but were unable to break. In the tie-break, they made more returns than us as a team and it cost us,” Nedunchezhiyan said.

Meanwhile, in the women’s doubles, Sania and Kirsten Flipkens, seeded 13th, easily dispatched Naomi Osaka and Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-3 in their opening match.

Also advancing to the second round of men’s doubles were Purav Raja and Divij Sharan who pipped Kyle Edmunds and Joao Sousa 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(8).

“We are really happy with this win today. We lost twice in the first round here, both in five sets. It was really close in the fourth set. We had a lot of match points on their serve but they came back big everytime. We did well to keep our focus in the tie break and got the job done in the end. We had a lot of support, Mahesh, Leander and Rohan had come to watch our match as well,” said Sharan.

Raja added, “It was great to come through in the end. It was a tough first round. They were really good servers.”

Veteran Leander Paes’ 23rd appearance at the Wimbledon ended with a first round defeat in a gruelling five-setter against Julian Knowle and Philipp Oswald on Thursday.

The combo of Paes and Adil Shamasdin lost 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(2), 8-10 to their Austrian rivals in the first round.

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