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Paes, Bhupathi crash out of Olympic Tennis Doubles

Beijing, Aug 15 (UNI) The Olympic sun set in on the ageing Indian Express pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi as they got derailed by Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Stanislas Warrinka in straight sets in the quarter finals of the doubles event of the Tennis competition here today.

The defeat ended India's hope of another Olympic tennis medal as their campaign in this competition came to an end.

''It was a heart break,'' said a visibly upset Paes. ''We had worked hard for this competition, we played together before the competition, this was the one medal which we will miss in our showcase.'' The fourth seed Swiss pair took 81 minutes to overwhelm the seventh seeded Indian pair 6-2, 6-4 to storm into the semifinals of the event.

Last night when the match was stopped due to rain after 34 minutes of play, the Swiss pair at that stage was leading 4-1 and they took just 47 minutes to wrap up the tie this afternoon played under blistering sun.

''I am just figuring it what happened,'' Paes, who was playing in his fifth successive Olympics, later told mediapersons and admitted, ''Roger was simply unbelievable, the way he played today, you name a shot and he had that, smashes, half volleys, cross court shots and serves, Roger had all of them, that is why he is World's top player.'' The Indians got the inkling of the space of things to come, late last night in those 34 minutes when Swiss duo led them 4-1 and if die hard supporters of Paes and Mahesh thought that blazing sun will adversely effect Federer and his partner, they were proved wrong. In fact reverse happened.

Last night it was Mahesh Bhupathi, who was broken in the second game and this after noon, he resumed serving the sixth game and easily held it at 40-0.

Wawrinka double faulted but then took next three points to hold on to his serve and in the eighth game, the Swiss duo displayed some great understanding to trouble the Indians and then Federer came up with a stunning forehand cross court to break Paes, which left the Indians bewildered and the crowd enthralled to take the set 6-2.

The second set went on with the serve till 5-4 and then it was the turn of Mahesh Bhupathi to get broken and again Federer was the man who inflicted the damage.

It was vintage Federer who was given a great support by younger partner Warwrinka and though there was some problem of coordination between them as they were playing together in this competition for the first time.

However, it was more surprising to see the two Indians failing to combine well in the second set. Couple of times both rushed to the net and then on a few more occasions failed to anticipate the returns.

Federer, played for a pride, having got knocked out in the singles, the world number one gave glimpses of his greatness with some stunning shots which left crowd rooting for more but that was not possible as Indian challenge collapsed rather abruptly.

The Swiss pair had a amazing 71 per cent of the first serves as against 60 by the Indians. ''They played to a plan and did not allow us any quarter. I don't think we even got many a half chances let alone the big chances,'' Paes said later.

''We just hoped that Warwinka will crack but Roger undid all our hopes,'' Paes said adding that ''We were not surprised at what happened at the court. The way Roger came out with all guns blazing, it was clear that they had planned their strategy.

Asked whether he thought Roger Federer was enjoying his game Paes shot back, ''He was enjoying it too much.'' ''We are still trying to figure out what happened, What else we could do here when Federer was at his best on the other side,'' Paes said and added, ''But I am disappointed because we had worked hard for this competition.'' UNI HSB RAR RN1629

Story first published: Friday, August 15, 2008, 17:03 [IST]
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