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It was the immaculate performance of the scratch pairing of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek which turned out to be the only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing day for the Indian contingent at Melbourne Park as Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna and the junior brigade had to bite the dust at the Australian Open.
Let's begin with the good news. Paes and Stepanek came up with an inspired display to eliminate the 'battle hardened' 3rd seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic 7-5, 7-6 in Round 2. At no stage during the 1 hour and 39 minutes encounter did the Indo-Czech duo show signs of switching off and it never really seemed like the two had just joined forces recently in 2012 as they complemented each other effortlessly. The duo could face the eighth seeded combination of Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in the next round.
Moving on to some not so good news, it was curtains for the newly formed Bopanna-Bhupathi combination as they were bundled out by 13th seeds Scott Lipsky and Andy Ram in two straight sets 7-6, 6-2. The three Indians in action in junior competition: Rutuja Bhosale, Ratnika Batra and Arjun Kadhe were also shown the exit door as they lost their respective first round matches.
The Indians will hope for some change in fortunes on Monday as Bhupathi - Mirza, Bopanna - Raymond and Mirza - Vesnina try their luck.
L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek [CZE) d  M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic 75 76(2)
 S Lipsky (USA) / R Ram (USA) d  M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) 76(6) 62
- 26/01/2012 14:42 - Leander advances to Aus Open Men's Doubles Final and Mixed Doubles semi-final on Thrilling Thursday
- 24/01/2012 17:01 - Mirza - Vesnina advance to Australian Open semi-finals
- 23/01/2012 19:39 - Dilshan steps down as Sri Lankan captain