Paris: Sania Mirza's entry into the mixed doubles quarterfinals was the only silver lining for India as both Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna lost their respective last-eight encounters in the men's doubles at the French Open in Paris on Wednesday.
Second-seeded Sania and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig beat French pair of Alize Cornet and Jonathan Eysseric 6-7 (6-8),,6-4, 10-8 in a closely-fought second-round match.
In the men's doubles, India's challenge ended on wednesday as Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea, seeded sixth, went down 4-6, 4-6 to third seeds Dodig and Marcelo Melo of Brazil.
The 16th-seeded Paes and his Polish partner Marcin Matkowski also lost in straight sets to fifth-seeded formidable American pair of Mike and Bob Bryan. The result was 7-6 (14-12), 6-3 in favour of Bryan brothers.
The only cheer for the Indians was Sania's performance with his Croatian partner Dodig. The second seeds will now meet Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei and veteran Max Mirnyi of Belarus in the quarterfinals. Leander and Martina Hingis are also in the mixed doubles quarterfinals and are pitted against fifth seeds Bruno Soares and Elena Vesnina.
The second round encounter was a closely-fought one as both teams lost their service games twice but the French pair did well to clinch the first set via tie-breaker.
In the second set, Mirza and Dodig were a break up but the local pair came back strongly. It was the experience of Mirza-Dodig that helped them clinch a second break point in the ninth game and then close the set at 6-4.
The super tie-break was also an exciting affair but the second seeds used their oodles of experience to prevail over the opposition, especially attacking the unheralded Frenchman Jonathan.
Earlier, in a lop-sided contest, Bopanna and Mergea struggled to handle Dodig and Melo's fine service games.
The Indo-Romanian combine was broken once in the opening set and failed to convert either of the two break points it earned. Bopanna and Mergea also committed a couple of double faults.
The second set followed a similar script and once again, Bopanna and Mergea failed to break their rivals. Dodig and Melo, however, continued to be dominant with their first serve besides converting one of the three break points they earned to outwit the sixth seeds.
Later for the 43-year-old Paes, eyeing a record seventh Olympics appearance, it was good first set in which the Indo-Polish pair stretched their much-fancied American duo to the tie-breaker. This was after both pairs traded a break each.
The only thing separating the duo was second serve percentage where Paes and his partner were not up to the mark.
The Bryans also won more points on their first serve.
The tie-breaker was also well fought before the Americans clinched the set on the 26th point.
The second set was much easier one as the Bryan brothers converted double service break to romp home 6-3 and clinch a place in the semi-finals.