Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna helped ease the pain of early exits in the men’s and women’s doubles events by winning their first round mixed doubles clash against the Australian pair of Samatha Stosur and John Peers. The win takes them one step closer to bringing home a medal.
The first two games of the first set went on pretty routinely as both pairs held their serve. Mirza and Bopanna seemed to be in sync and were showing great teamwork on serve, but Stosur and Peers were proving to be quite the duo. The serve and volley combination was being effectively used by both sets of players in the early stages.
The Indians seemed under pressure on the Bopanna serve at times in the first set, while the Australians were able to hold without much fuss. But Mirza/Bopanna got the first chance to force a break in the 9th game of the first set at 4-4. After a fiercely competitive set of points, they finally managed to get the break and the opportunity to serve for the first set.
The Australians broke back immediately on the Bopanna serve to make it 5-5. Nerves started to creep in as India once again broke the Australians in the very next game for a second shot at serving for the 1st set.
The Australians made a good fight of it in the 12th game but the Indians held their nerve, and after a 3rd deuce, they took the 1st set 7-5.
The second set started in the same fashion as the first, with both pairs holding comfortably in the first 4 games. Peers seemed to be struggling against the Mirza serve which was proving to be the Australian’s Achilles heel. His faulty play carried over to his serve as well, and a double fault in the 5th game handed India a break to make it 3-2.
Bopanna found himself in a tight spot in the 6th game but some big serving and fine net pay from his partner enabled them to hold and consolidate on their earlier break of serve. Stosur denied the Indians the opportunity of a double break with a good hold to make it 4-3.
Mirza, however, kept the Indians on track for a win with a strong service game, putting the pressure back on the Aussies. With Peers serving to keep the pair in the game at 5-3, the 28-year-old’s composure seemed to have disappeared as he served two double faults in the game. But his partner ensured they held on with some fine volleying at the net
But Bopanna and Mirza made sure there were no slip-ups and served out a comfortable 10th game to take the set and match 7-5, 6-4. They will play their quarterfinal match tomorrow, against the pair of Andy Murray and Heather Watson.