Bopanna blames lack of singles play for loss

"Obviously, it is very disappointing to lose the match, especially since I was seeing the ball well, but you must give credit to him (Bellucci) for coming up with some fantastic shots," Bopanna said.

"So, it was not as if I wasted the chances in the fifth set when I was leading 5-2. It is just that my lack of singles play made the difference. I guess I wasn’t ready to play for four-and-a-half hours."

Ranked 479 in the singles, Bopanna said he had to make a choice between playing singles and doubles, and it was a tough call to make. "Playing for India is very special, but as for playing singles on the tour, from my career-perspective, I have to decide. Like I am ranked No.19 in doubles and 400-something in singles," he said.

On his strategy against Bellucci, the 30-year old Bangalorean said: "He is a baseliner and I tried to break his rhythm by not indulging in long rallies. I wanted to control the point." Bellucci said his mind was blank in the fifth set. "I was very tired and the mind was not responding. It was a tough match. He (Bopanna) was serving well and hitting very hard," said the top-ranked Brazilian.

On the medication he received for cramps in the fifth when trailing 2-5, Bellucci said he had never had cramps before, but he came back to win three games in a row to tie 5-5 before going on win the set and match at 10-8.

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