New York: Veteran Indian star Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the men’s doubles competition after losing their respective matches but Sania Mirza made an assured start to her mixed doubles journey at the US Open tennis tournament.
The Indo-German pair of Paes and Andre Begemann gave a tough fight before going down 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 in one hour and 59 minutes in the first round against Stephane Robert of France and Dudi Sela of Israel here on Friday. Next, Indo-Danish pair of Rohan Bopanna and Frederik Nielsen went down against American Brian Baker and New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell 6-2, 7-6 (5). Later in the day, mixed doubles top seeds Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig completed a 6-4, 6-4 win against unseeded Americans Taylor Townsend and Donald Young at Court P6.
The Indo-Croatian player need an hour and two minutes to advance to the next round, winning 67 of the total 118 total points played. Bopanna-Nielsen relinquished grip on the first in just 30 minutes at Court 6. Baker-Daniell converted two of the four break points received to comfortably pocket the first set. They maintained their ascendancy in the second set too another quick break of serve to jump to a 4-2 lead. Baker-Daniell served for the match at 5-3 but were broke by some dogged play from Bopanna-Nielsen to square it 5-5. The Indo-Danish pair forced the set to a tiebreaker where they got a 3-0 lead but couldn’t sustain the advantage to lose it 5-7, thereby surrendering the match in an hour and 14 minutes.
The victors against Paes-Begemann, Robert and Sela will now take on Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Alexander Peya of Austria in the second round. The 12th seeded Polish-Austrian team defeated Americans Eric Quigley and Nicolas Meister 7-6, 6-1 in their opening round encounter. Paes and Begemann enjoyed a superb start, breaking their opponents in the very first game to gain the early advantage. They broke their opponents again in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead and then held their serve to take the set. The Indo-German combination grabbed the early initiative in the second set as well, forcing a break of serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead.
The set then went with the serve which saw Paes and Begemann on the verge of taking the set with a 5-4 lead. Robert and Sela however, staged a spirited comeback to earn a break of serve and level the scores at 5-5. They then held their serve before forcing another break to take the set and draw level. In the third set, Paes and Begermann again earned a break in the opening game to take the early lead. Both teams held their serve thereafter before Robert and Sela broke their Indo-German opponents in the eighth game. They held their serve in the next game to take the lead at 5-4 before another break of serve in the 10th game handed them the set and the match. –IANS
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