LONDON: India's plans for Olympic tennis glory suffered a blow on Tuesday as key doubles partnership Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna were knocked out of Wimbledon, along with top doubles player Leander Paes.
Bhupathi and Bopanna, the seventh seeds, were beaten 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the second round by Russia's Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek, the fourth seeds, were defeated 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (7-2), 8-6 by 15th seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Brazil's Marcelo Melo in the third round.
Bhupathi and Bopanna will represent India at the Olympics later this month, to be held at the All England Club.
Paes will also be back at Wimbledon, though he has been paired with the much lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan, following a well-documented spat at the All India Tennis Association.
Elsewhere in the men's doubles third round, Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and his Dutch partner Jean-Julien Rojer, the eighth seeds, were knocked out in five sets by wild cards Jonathan Marray of Britain and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark.
The wild card pairing won 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-4), 5-7, 7-5 in a knife-edge match on Court 14.
To complete the day of Asian misery at the All England Club, Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn was also knocked out of the women's doubles.
Tamarine and her New Zealand partner Marina Erakovic lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 to Russian fifth seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
India's Sania Mirza is still in the women's doubles third round with her colourful US partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, as are Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei and her German partner Sabine Lisicki.
In the mixed doubles, Paes and Elena Vesnina are still in the second round, as are Qureshi and his Czech partner Andrea Hlavackova, who face Su-Wei and Britain's Colin Fleming.
Bopanna and China's Zheng Jie have made it to the third round without having to play, thanks to a bye and a walkover.
In the boys' singles second round, Japan's Kaichi Uchida won while compatriot Yoshihito Nishioka went out.
In the girls' second round, Indonesia's Aldila Sutjiadi was knocked out. AFP