MELBOURNE, Australia - Toronto's Daniel Nestor suffered his earliest doubles loss at the Australian Open since 2009 on Monday as he and new partner Mahesh Bhupathi fell 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to Simone Boelli and Fabio Fognini.
The 40-year-old Nestor has won the most doubles titles in history but was unable to nose his fifth-seeded team over the line and into the quarter-finals.
The third-round defeat in just under two hours was a disappointment for Nestor, who split with Max Mirnyi of Belarus last season to team up with India's Bhupathi.
Monday's match was marred by eight double-faults from Nestor and Bhupathi, who also converted on just three of ten break chances.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was set to take on No. 2 seed and four-time champion Roger Federer in a fourth-round singles match later Monday.
Italy's Boelli and Fognini won the opening set in 33 minutes through a break in the seventh game. But Nestor and Bhupathi redeemed themselves in the second, squaring the match at a set each as they broke for 4-3 in the second on the way to winning 6-4.
But in the third, Nestor was broken in the fourth game on a double-fault to trail 3-1. Nestor and Bhupathi hung tough but would up falling 6-3 to crash out of the tournament.