First-round exit for Indo-Pak Express

Aisam, Bopanna shocked by unseeded duo in Washington.

Agencies August 05, 2011

WASHINGTON: Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the ATP Legg Mason Classic after a 6-7, 7-6, 3-10 openinground defeat to the unseeded Mark Knowles and Xavier Malisse.

The Indo-Pak Express, seeded fourth in Washington, is on a tour of the US preparing for the US Open that takes place from August 29. The pair made it to the final of the event last year, with Aisam also featuring in the mixed doubles final.

In the singles event, French top-seed Gael Monfils won two matches in 10 hours to reach the quarter-finals, ousting Russian Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 7-6 after firing 17 aces in downing American Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 7-6.

“I’m in good shape, ” said a confident Monfils. “I come from the clay season so I’m used to having long matches.”

Serbian sixth-seed Janko Tipsarevic, the next foe for Monfils, and Cypriot seventh- seed Marcos Baghdatis, who went six sets in one day for the first time, also won twice to book their last-eight berths.

“It’s good to finish six sets and physically I feel good, ” Baghdatis said. “You know you can do it, but it’s nice to achieve that.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.