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London Olympics: India goes down in Hockey, Saina, Paes-Vardhan advance

London, July 31 (): India’s Tennis doubles team Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan and Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna won the first round in the men’s tennis event of the 2012 London Olympics on Monday.

Vishnu Vardhan and Leander Paes beat Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-2, while Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna won a tough contest when they beat Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury of Belarus 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 8-6.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna will face French duo Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet in their next match. Leander Paes and Vardhan will be facing the second seeded French pair of Joe-Wilfred Tsonga and Michael Llodra in the next round.

India’s top shuttler Saina Nehwal who is ranked fifth in the world, registered her win in the group stages beating Belgium’s Lianne Tan with a straight set 21-4, 21-14 in a group E match which lasted just 27 minutes.

Indian Shuttler pair Jwala and Ashwini won their first match in the tournament to keep their hopes alive of making it to the knockout round. The pair beat Chinese Taipei’s Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin Chien 25-22, 16-21, 21-18 in a group B match in 55 minutes.

In Hockey, the Indian men’s hockey team put up a spirited performance in their opening match of the London Olympics 2012 against Netherlands on Monday, but lost 2-3. Netherlands led by 2-0 at the interval, but India came out in the second half with a spectacular come back in the midfield play and scored twice through Dharamvir Singh (45th min) and Shivender Singh (48th min) to draw level. The decider goal was scored by Netherlands in 51st minute in a penalty corner. India needs to finish among the top two in Pool B to reach the semi-finals. They next play New Zealand on August 1.

Earlier, Gagan Narang has provided India its first medal of the 2012 London Olympics, winning the bronze medal in the 10m Air Rifle event.