Ankita Raina, Divij Sharan suffer opening round losses at French Open

The Indian tennis players lost their respective doubles matches in contrasting fashion to bow out of Roland Garros.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Facebook/Ankita Raina

India’s doubles challenge at French Open 2021 will be down to Rohan Bopanna alone as Divij Sharan and Ankita Raina bowed out of the competition following their respective first round losses on Wednesday.

Competing in the men’s doubles, Divij Sharan and Argentina’s Federico Delbonis were ousted following a 6-3, 6-7 (11), 4-6 loss to Australia’s Alex de Minaur and Matt Reid.

In the women’s half, Ankita Raina -- partnering Lauren Davis of the USA -- lost to Lucie Hradecká of the Czech Republic and Germany’s Laura Siegemund 4-6, 4-6.

Taking the court for the final match of the day on Court 9, Sharan and Delbonis began well but ran out of steam as the match progressed and conceded with errors at crucial moments. 

The Indo-Argentine pair were quick to get off the blocks as they took an early lead in the opening set with a break in the third game. 

The duo, however, couldn’t hold on to their advantage as the Australians forced their opponents into conceding the following game with both the pairs engaging in some high tempo tennis. 

But Sharan and Delbonis soon restored their lead with Alex de Minaur conceding the following game with a double fault while defending three break points. 

The Indo-Argentine pair ensured that they held onto their advantage from there on before closing the set with another break on the ninth. 

The second set was a much straightforward one with the first break coming in the 11th game. Though the Aussies eked ahead, they couldn’t consolidate the advantage and needed an exhausting tie-breaker to push the match into a decider. 

The experienced pair ensured that they continued the good work in the third to win the match with the deciding break in the fag end of the tie.

In the adjacent court, Ankita Raina and Lauren Davis had themselves to blame as they lost a match ladened with service breaks. 

While the first set saw as many as five breaks, the second was anything but pleasant with the two pairs engaging in a total of seven service breaks. The 10th seed Lucie Hradecká and Laura Siegemund were only marginally better to sneak away with a win.

India’s only remaining contender in the Grand Slam, Rohan Bopanna, will be in action in his second round tie against the all-American pair of Frances Tiafoe and Nicholas Monroe on Thursday. Bopanna is partnering Croatia’s Franko Škugor at the French Open.