London: Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna staved off stiff resistance from Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury before advancing to the men's doubles pre-quarterfinals at the London Olympics.
The seventh seed Indian pair, who were in news for challenging AITA diktat, recorded a hard-earned 7-6 (4) 6-7 (4) 8-6 win over the Belarusian pair in the marathon first round match, which lasted for two hours and 26 minutes.
They will now fight it out with French combination of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet.
Bhupathi and Bopanna, who both had refused to play with Leander Paes, were stretched to their limits and they had to dig deep into their reserves to edge past the gritty Belarusian combination.
After the first two sets were stretched to tie-breakers, the Indian team got the crucial break in the 13th game of the decisive third set and then served out the match in the next game.