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Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi knocked out of China Open

Beijing (PTI): Somdev Devvarman put up a valiant fight before going down to world number 31 Fernando Verdasco while Mahesh Bhupathi yet again stumbled in the doubles first round as the two Indians bowed out of the ATP China Open, here today.

The 97th-ranked Somdev saved as many as nine break chances, but lost the battle 6-7 (6) 3-6 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Somdev traded a break with Verdasco to push the opening set to a tie-breaker, in which he could not get past the formidable Spaniard.

In the second set, Somdev saved two of the three break chances but that one chance was enough for Verdasco to seal the win.

In the doubles event, Bhupathi yet failed to cross the first round hurdle for the third successive time as he and his Swedish partner Robert Lindstedt suffered a straight sets defeat against Novac Djokovic and Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

The second seeded Bhupathi and Lindstedt lost 3-6 3-6 in one hour and three minutes.

Before this Bhupathi lost the first rounds of US Open and in Bangkok.

India’s challenge is still alive as top seeds Leander Paes and his Canadian partner Daniel Nestor will face Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey.

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