Bopanna, Cuevas lose controversial match
It was curtains for Rohan Bopanna in the men\'s doubles event. He and his new partner Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay were knocked out by unseeded Australian pair of Alex Bolt and Bradley Mousley in the second round.
Melbourne: It was curtains for Rohan Bopanna in the men's doubles event. He and his new partner Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay were knocked out by unseeded Australian pair of Alex Bolt and Bradley Mousley in the second round. The 15th seeds lost 6-2, 6-7(2), 4-6 to their unseeded opponents in one hour and 55 minutes to put an end to the Indian challenge in the men's doubles competition.
Bopanna/Cuevas and Bolt/Mousley exchanged three service breaks in the opening three games of the first set, Bopanna and Cuevas winning two of those to lead 2-1. They held serve twice and then broke serve once again before serving out the set, winning 28 points to 19 for their opponents.
Bopanna and Cuevas pocketed the first rather easily to seize the initiative. But the second set turned out to be more competitive and proceeded on serve. However, Bopanna and Cuevas faltered in the tiebreak as Bolt and Mousley went 5-2 ahead with two forehand winners.
The Australians got four set points with a forehand volley winner and then pocketed the set on the first, courtesy a forehand unforced error from Bopanna and Cuevas. With the match level at one set apiece, the decider went on serve in the first six games before Bolt and Mousley broke Bopanna's serve with a forehand winner to take a 4-3 lead.
Thereafter, the set went on serve as Bopanna and Cuevas failed to break back their opponents to concede the defeat. Bopanna later blamed a "horrendous call" at a crucial juncture in the match from the chair umpire as the reason behind his early ouster from the men's doubles event.
The contentious call was made on Cuevas's serve, which was broken in the seventh game of the final set. On break point, a volley from Bolt sailed wide but the chair umpire ruled that the ball had brushed Bopanna's racket on the way out.
Protesting the call, Bopanna and Cuevas were involved in an animated conversation with the chair umpire at the change of ends. "I can't believe you made that call. That's a horrendous call. No one heard (the deflection) and you only heard it.
That's what I am really surprised," said a furious Bopanna while arguing with the chair umpire. He later tweeted: "Very hard to digest a loss in a match when the REF decides the outcome.Reactions of opponents says it all.@AustralianOpen #MostShockingCall."