Melbourne: Mahesh Bhupathi joined three more compatriots in the mixed doubles second round of the Australian Open after scoring a straight-set win with partner Nadia Petrova, here on Sunday. The fifth seeded Indo-Russian pair dumped Australia's Anastasia Rodionova and Dutch Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4 6-2 in the opening round which lasted just 65 minutes.
Bhupathi and Petrova saved six out of the seven break points they faced in the match and that proved crucial in their march towards victory. Now Bhupathi has joined Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza in the pre-quarter-finals.
If Bhupathi and Paes win their respective next matches, they will clash in the quarter-finals. Bhupathi and Nadia next face Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.
Paes and his Russian partner Elena Vesnina, seeded second, will clash with the Australian team of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden. The unseeded pair of Bopanna and Su-Wei Hsieh are set to take on Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Third seeds Sania and Bob Bryan will clash with the American team of Abigail Spears and Scott Lipsky.