Divij Sharan bows out of French Open doubles

Sharan and partner Kwon Soon-woo were knocked out over three sets in the first round at Roland Garros.

By Rahul Venkat

Divij Sharan suffered a second-straight opening-round loss at a Grand Slam as he fell in the French Open men’s doubles late on Wednesday.

Sharan and his South Korean partner Kwon Soon-woo lost 2-6, 6-4, 4-6 to the Croatian-American pair of Franko Skugor and Austin Krajicek.

After Skugor-Krajicek won the opening game on serve, the Sharan-Kwon duo faced a break point in their service game but managed to save it and level the set at 1-1.

The crucial break of the serve came in the sixth game as Sharan-Kwon were given no chance to defend the break, with their opponents converting it at the first time of asking to take a 4-2 lead.

Skugor-Krajicek then held serve and broke the Indo-Korean pair once again in the eighth game to wrap up the opening set 6-2.

Sharan-Kwon hit back early in the second set, breaking their opponents’ serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. It turned out to be the only break in the set for either pair as Sharan-Kwon won the second set.

Both teams stepped up under pressure in the deciding third set, each holding serve until the ninth game. However, Sharan-Kwon were broken in the crucial tenth game as Skugor-Krajicek wrapped up a close win to progress to the second round.

Veteran Rohan Bopanna is the only Indian tennis player left in the French Open now as he begins his men’s doubles on Thursday along with Canadian Denis Shapovalov. They face the pair of Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil.

Ramkumar’s Biella challenge ends

Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan and Spanish partner Sergio Martos Gornes lost their men’s doubles quarter-final 7-6, 6-4 to Harri Heliovarra and Szymon Walkow at the ATP Challenger Biella in Italy.

Ramanathan had earlier been knocked out of the men’s singles on Tuesday following a 6-4, 6-2 Round of 32 loss to second-seed Christopher O’Connell. It brought an end to India’s singles challenge following Sumit Nagal and Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s losses.

The only Indian remaining at Biella is N Sriram Balaji. Balaji and Swiss partner Luca Margaroli, seeded third, will play their quarter-final on Thursday against the Peruvian duo of Alexander Merino and Juan Pablo Varillas.