India's Rohan Bopanna and his American partner Rajeev Ram were surprisingly defeated by Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fagnini 2-6, 6-7 (3) in the second round of the men's doubles at the Australian Open here Saturday.
In one of the early matches to go on court, Bopanna and his Indian origin American Ram, seeded 12th, were down a set even before they could settle down, both dropping their first service games to go 0-4 down.
Both good servers, they just could not get into a rhythm and the unseeded Italians seized the opportunity quickly to stamp their authority.
In the second set, Bopanna and Ram managed to force a tie-break, but were soon down 2-5, and could get only one more point before the Italians served out taking both the points.
The big difference was that the Italians hit 33 winners to Bopanna and Ram who could hit only 18.
Both pairs had problems with their serve, though the Italians could convert three of their six breakpoints whereas the Indians could manage only one of four they had.
Both Bolelli (80) and Fagnini (47) are in the top hundred in the ATP rankings, while the former has a doubles ranking of 278 and the latter 110 whereas Bopanna is ranked 12 in doubles and Ram 44.
Ram is actively pursuing singles and is ranked 110.
The Italians next play the winners of the match between India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Canadian Daniel Nestor, seeded fifth, and Romania's Victor Hanescu and Slovak Martin Klizan.