Bopanna out of Australian Open men’s doubles event

India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Japanese partner Ben McLachlan crashed out of the Australian Open men’s doubles event after suffering a straight-sets defeat to South Korean pair of Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song in their first round contest here on Wednesday.

The South Korean pair — wild card entrants to the event — beat Bopanna and McLachlan 6-4, 7(7)-6(0) in a match that lasted one hour and 17 minutes.

It was the first time Bopanna partnered with McLachlan. Joao Sousa, with whom Bopanna was originally supposed to play the year’s first Grand Slam, was diagnosed with Covid-19 and was unable to make the trip to Australia.

Despite the loss, the 40-year-old Indian is expected to return in mixed doubles — the draws for which have still not been announced.

On Thursday, Divij Sharan alongside Igor Zelenay of Slovakia will face the German pair Kevin Krawietz and Yannick Hanfmann in their first round contest of the men’s doubles event.

In women’s doubles, Ankita Raina and her Romanian partner Mihaela Buzarnescu will take on the Australian pair of Belinda Woolcock and Olivia Gadecki in their first round contest.

Sumit Nagal earlier on Tuesday faced a crushing 2-6, 5-7, 3-6 defeat to Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis to bow out of the men’s singles competition.