Paes-Dlohy lose first group match in ATP season finale

Paes-Dlohy lose first group match in ATP season finale

Czech Republic's Lukas Dlouhy, left, and India's Leander Paes, right, during their ATP World Tour Finals tennis match against Poland's Lukasz Kubot and Austria's Oliver Marach at the O2 Arena in London, Monday. AP

The fourth-seeded Indo-Czech pair went down 3-6 6-7 (3) to the sixth seeded Polish-Austrian rivals in their opening match and will now be up against second seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of Unites States, who also started their campaign on a disappointing note, losing 4-6 4-6 to seventh seeds Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram.

In a 92-minute contest, both the teams fought hard with many players taking body blows – including one in the throat for the 36-year-old Paes.
But in the end, it was the sixth seeds who came out on top, having saved five of six threats on their serve and converted two of the four break points they created.

Dlouhy was targetted by Kubot and Marach in the tie-break and a barrage of shots from the back saw the Czech player break down at the net to give the Polish-Austrian duo a 6-3 lead. The sixth seeds then converted their first match point as Dlouhy returned the serve long.

"I can't really speak for the other top teams that have lost, but I can speak for us. We just didn't play our best game today," Paes said.
"We had a bunch of chances, especially in the second set. Had a bunch of chances to break. I think it was four or five break points. Didn't take it. Weren't good enough for the mark. Also you have to give credit to the other boys.
"They came out and brought the game to us. We knew their weaknesses, we knew their strengths. But they managed to play well enough to beat us today," he added.
Paes and Dlouhy have to be among the top two of the group to make the cut for the knockout stage.
Paes and Dlouhy, who were bidding for their 50th career victory together yesterday, have been in good form. In just 15 tournaments this season, they have won two Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and the US Open and finished runner-up at the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Mahesh Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles, seeded third in group A, had won their opening match on Sunday.

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