New Delhi: Somdev Devvarman survived a scare before Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi recorded a straight-set win as India continued its domination in the tennis event of the Commonwealth Games with an all-win day here on Tuesday.
The top seeded and favorites Paes-Bhupathi sailed into the men's doubles quarterfinals with a 6-3 6-3 win over Sri Lanka's Thangarajah Dineshkanthan and Amresh Jayawickreme in the first round.
Somdev Devvarman, top seed in the men's singles, began the day for the hosts on a winning note although his 6-4 6-2 win was not convincing.
India's women's doubles pair of Nirupama Sanjeev and Poojashree also cruised to the quarterfinals with 6-0 6-1 demolition of Maldives'Aminath Irufa Mahir and Aminath Maleela Solih.
With the Lee-Hesh victory, India have now won seven of the eight matches in two days of competition.
The inexperienced Sri Lankans, who are yet to be ranked on ATP chart, were up against the players, who share 23 Grand Slam titles between them.
They fought hard but even with their best effort, taming the big boys was too tough a task for them.
Bhupathi struggled with the first serve and backhand and those unforced errors gave a lot many points to their rivals.
The Lankans did their best to stop the contest from becoming a lop-sided affair.
The seasoned Indian pair acknowledged the good fight put up by the Lankan players. "The boys are talented. It was hard work (for us) today," Paes said after the one hour eight minutes match.
"It was difficult to go through motions in this match. We never got going," said Bhupathi.
Asked if they would preferred playing on grass courts, Paes said, "That was nice. This is nicer."
Early in the day, Mullings gave a rude shock to the home fans by racing to a 4-1 lead in the opening set but Somdev clawed his way back in the match by winning five games in a row.
The thunderous forehands of the Bahamas' left-hander had left Somdev gasping but soon blazing sun over the Centre Court took a toll on Mullings, who started suffering cramps, which played a part in preventing a huge upset in the men's singles.
Mullings took a medical time out in the seventh game of the first set and from there on the tide turned in the favour of Somdev.
The unforced errors started to flow from Mullings' racquet. Two long forehand handed Somdev two break chances and the Indian Somdev converted the second with a stunning double handed back-hand winner.
Again, unforced errors, this time a double fault handed Somdev a break in the third game of the second set. Mullings lost his rhythm but was not ready to throw in the towel and fought hard. He earned two breakpoints in the sixth game but Somdev saved fist with an ace and second with a forehand winner.
A second break of serve put Somdev ahead 5-2 and an easy hold pushed the Indian to second round.
Somdev admitted his Bahamian opponent was a difficult nut to crack.
"It was a slow start, it wasn't great. Devin Mullings played some good tennis. He played really good. I know I have to play well and my opponent was strong. Credit has to go to my opponent," he said after the match.
Talking about his fitness he said, "Fitness has been my strength. It helps me win a lot of matches. It's always been my game plan.
The Indian said he was enjoying carrying the hopes of the home fans.
"It's great opportunity to represent India. I am embracing it. I am glad that people are following tennis, and I think I have a good chance of winning."
Somdev will next take on Sri Lanka Amresh Jayawickreme, who got the better of Bermuda's David Thomas 6-1 6-2 in his first round.