Leander Paes will continue his partnership with American Scott Lipsky into the French Open after a successful run so far in Challenger and ATP events. The two have reached the semifinals of ATP 250 Geneva Open, won the Tallahassee Challenger and made the semis of the Bordeaux Challenger. At the French Open, they would open by facing the Crypriot and Luxembourgian pairing of Marcos Baghdatis and Gilles Muller in the first round. Should they progress, they face a daunting task of facing the number one seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers.
Another Indian pair in the fray, Divij Sharan and Purav Raja will be up against Nicolas Almagro from Spain and Steve Johnson from the USA in their first round. “We have not played them before. Purav and I have been training in Paris for the last four days. We are well settled and playing good,” Sharan said.
Sharan and Raja started the year brilliantly by reaching the final of Chennai Open by playing an attacking brand of tennis. They later made two semifinals on the ATP Tour besides winning the Bordeaux Challenger a fortnight back.
“It has been a good season so far, if not spectacular. We had some good results. We are playing more ATP 250s now. It makes a difference when you have a steady partner. We have been working on our game. There is better understanding of ourselves and our strengths and it’s showing in our matches,” the world number 55 said. “It’s just a matter of time before it starts showing results (at big stage),” he added.
Rohan Bopanna makes up the third Indian in the men’s doubles draw. He partners Pablo Cuevas when they take on Mathias Bourgue and Paul-Henri Mathieu.
In women’s doubles draw, Sania Mirza and Yroslava Shvedova, seeded fourth, will open against Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
(With PTI inputs)