Melbourne: Second seeds Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina made a shock second round exit from the mixed doubles event of the Australian Open even as Mahesh Bhupathi and Nadia Petrova entered the quarter-finals, here Tuesday.
Paes and his Russian partner were outplayed by unseeded local pair of Matthew Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova 3-6, 2-6 in just 58 minutes. Had Paes and Vesnina won, they could have clashed with fifth seeds Bhupathi and Petrova, who recorded a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-2 10-5 win over Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia, earlier in the day.
At the start, Paes and Vesnina immediately broke their rivals to open up a mini lead but the rivals broke back and it was soon 3-3. With a crushing forehand winner on the serve of Gajdosova, Paes earned a breakpoint for the team in the seventh game but he faltered on a volley to squander it. Vesnina was broken at love in the next game and Ebden served out the set comfortably.
Back-to-back breaks, in fifth and seventh games respectively, pushed Paes and Vesnina out of the match as it handed the Australian pair a 5-2 cushion. Ebden was terrific at the net and Gajdosova supported him well from the baseline. Gajdosova fired an ace to earn a match point and Ebden sealed the victory with an overhead volley.
Earlier, Bhupathi and Petrova got their act together after surrendering the first set and dumped their unseeded opponents in 64 minutes. Bhupathi and Petrova hit 34 winners as compared to only 16 by their rivals. Besides, they also managed to convert three out of six break points they faced, while saved three off five to pocket the match. Other Indians in draw, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza have already moved to the last-eight stage of the mixed doubles event with their respective partners.