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IndoPak Express back on track at Shanghai Masters

October 13, 2010

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (L) and Rohan Bopanna are in the Shanghai Masters pre-quarterfinals. —Reuters/File Photo
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (L) and Rohan Bopanna are in the Shanghai Masters pre-quarterfinals. —Reuters/File Photo

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Rohan Bopanna of India resumed their progress on the ATP circuit with a first-round win at the 2010 Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

It took Qureshi and Bopanna 80 minutes to overcome Mark Knowles of Bahamas and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in a gruelling 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 win.

Playing their first match together after the US Open final, the self-titled IndoPak Express made a slow start to the match and were broken in their first service game.

Qureshi-Bopanna came back on level terms when they broke Knowles’ serve at 3-4, were broken again but made another comeback to lead 5-4. When the set went into tie-break at 6-6, the duo managed a mini-break advantage, which they lost soon after. They went a break up again and got a set point at 4-6 but Kohschreiber successfully saved it to make it 5-6. At this point, Bopanna missed a volley to let the opponents back at 6-6. The tie-break continued to fluctuate as Knowles helped his team level at 7-7 but later made a double fault to give Qureshi and Bopanna the edge at 8-7. Bopanna’s strong serve game and Qureshi’s slick vollies then helped the IndoPak Express bag the set at 9-7. The high-intensity first set sent the South Asian duo back into rhythm in the following set. Qureshi and Bopanna broke their opponents’ second serve to take a 2-1 lead and then broke them again at 2-4 to take a 5-2 advantage. Qureshi then served out the match with ease for a 6-2 scoreline in the second set. The IndoPak Express hit six aces in comparison to their opponents’ two and won 68 points, while Knowles and Kohschreiber hit 63.

Qureshi and Bopanna will now face seventh seeded pair of Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman in the pre-quarterfinals.