S Rajesh reports from Wimbledon on a bad day for Indians
A bad day for Indians at Wimbledon worsened as the last remaining Indian hope Leander Paes and his partner Martina Hingis, the defending champions, crashed out at the third round of the mixed doubles event to home player Heather Watson and Finland’s Henri Kontinen 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 in an hour and 31 minutes.
After facing an early breakpoint, the Indo-Swiss pairing rushed to a 4-1 lead and then were pegged back to 4-3 but Hingis produced a glorious return winner to break Watson’s serve. Paes then held serve authoritatively to close out the opening set 6-3.
The second set started on level terms but buoyed by the home crowd support, the British-Finnish pair broke through to lead 4-2.
That single break was sufficient to decide the second set and Kontinen came up with the big serves when needed to level the match at one set apiece.
The weather turned overcast in the third set and a rain shower interrupted the match for about 10 minutes.
On resumption, Paes lost his serve after missing a volley wide after an entertaining rally had brought up break point despite some good retrieving by Hingis and Paes off some offensive smashes by their opponents.
Watson and Kontinen then utilized the momentum to get a second break as Hingis double faulted at breakpoint. It was soon over as Watson served out the match with ease to complete the upset win over the sixteenth seeded pairing.