Chennai: David Martin of USA and Dutch Robin Haase — the team Sanam Singh and Somdev Devvarman also lost to in the first round — beat second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, popular any where in the world these days, 6-4, 7-5.
The fans have been an animated lot over the four days at the Chennai Open, and it took two men dressed in white to darken their mood and stun them into complete silence.
Qureshi started off the match well. He won his service game to love and then hit two aces in the next. This great start was in contrast to the second set where Qureshi’s serve got broken twice and it lead to the Indo-Pak Express conceding a crucial lead and eventually Haase served out the match.
Despite having played a long three-setter singles match just hours before his doubles game, Haase did not look fatigued. Bopanna-Qureshi were ineffective, specially on Haase’s service games. Haase returned equally well. “I definitely think I played better than yesterday. We were more pumped up and our body language was more positive but they came all guns blazing. They played the big points better,” Qureshi said.
Giving credit to the Dutch-American pair of Robin Haase-David Martin that beat the local favourites in the quarterfinals of Aircel Chennai Open, the pair said,"They played really well. Robin (Haase) was seeing the ball pretty well and they came out hard. It's always tough to play the first tournament of the year and we're going to keep practicing and hopefully get better."
Qureshi said the pair had played well but their opponents had played the "big points better. We played better than yesterday (when they beat the Brazilian-Argentine pair of Marcos Daniel-Eduarco Schwank through a second set tie-breaker) but they played the big points well, (so) credit to them. We committed some tactical errors. Our body language was also better than yesterday."
(But) "the next time we play them, we want to beat them," he said.
Asked what positives they had taken from their short stint at this year's Chennai Open, Qureshi said, "It's all positive, we got (to play) two matches, we didn't get any practice (at the start of) last season."
Bopanna agreed, saying, "It's always a disappointment to lose early in any tournament, (but) this is part of the game and you win some and lose some."