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Australian Open: Bopanna-McLachlan to face Korean pair

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Melbourne, Feb 7 (IANS) India’s Rohan Bopanna and his partner Ben McLachlan of Japan will face Korean pair Nam Ji-Sung and Min-Kyu Song in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday. Bopanna’s compatriot Divij Sharan, meanwhile pairs up with Igor Zelenay of Slovakia and will face German pair Kevin Krawietz and Yannick Hanfmann.

Ankita Raina, meanwhile, pairs up with Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu and will face Australian pair of Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock. Raina, 28, is the fifth Indian woman to feature in the main draw of a Grand Slam. She had earlier lost in the last round of qualifying in singles.

Bopanna, 40, partnered with McLachlan in men’s doubles after Joao Sousa, whom the veteran Indian tennis player was supposed to play with, contracted Covid-19 and could not make the trip to the first Grand Slam of the year. McLachlan’s partner had to pull out of the tournament as well and it will be the first time that he will be pairing up with Bopanna.

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Sharan, 34, and Zelenay have played two matches in the run up to the Australian Open. They lost 6-7 (5), 4-6 to fifth-seeded French pair of Fabrice Martin-Jeremy Chardy in the pre-quarterfinals of the Murray River Open.

–IANS

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