With all three Indians on court today – Sania Mirza partnering Ivan Dodig in the mixed doubles, Rohan Bopanna and his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen in the men’s doubles, and Leander Paes alongside Germany’s Andre Begemann, fans were promised some strong action.
Strong showing for India at Mixed Doubles
Mirza and Croat Dodig, the top seeds in the mixed doubles, played the all-American team of Taylor Townsend and Donald Young in their first-round match, taking a convincing 6-4, 6-4 victory. The Indo-Croat pair played a far cleaner game than the Americans, with 15 unforced errors to Townsend and Young’s 22; the young Americans were only able to take their rivals to break point on one occasion, although they did successfully break.
In contrast, Dodig and Mirza hit 27 winners – managing to take their rivals to break point on eleven occasions. In fact, given that information, Mirza and Dodig might have had an even bigger margin of victory.
Bopanna and Nielsen also find themselves moving through the men’s doubles.
Indian Rio 2016 representative Bopanna is also through in the mixed doubles, having won his match with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski – the two beat the all-American team of Jamie Rubin and Noah Loeb in straight sets in their first round match, 7-5, 6-4; Rubin and Loeb, both mentored by John McEnroe, turned pro last year.
Indian hopes at Men’s Doubles ended
17-time Grand Slam winner Leander Paes was knocked out with German partner Andre Begemann here today in the first round; although his match had been due for a day earlier, rain saw much of play that could not be rescheduled under the roof, postponed to the next day. The two lost to the Israeli-French pair of Dudi Sela and Stephane Robert in a three-set match, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, after having taken the first set convincingly.
Bopanna was also knocked out of the men’s doubles with partner Frederik Nielsen; the pair had not looked strong here, and tumbled quickly in straight sets – 2-6, 5-7 to the American pair of Brian Baker and Marcus Daniell in the second round.
Women’s, mixed doubles now hope for India
Women’s doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza has come into the US Open on the back of two titles – at the Western and Southern Open with current partner Barbora Strycova; the two share a strong chemistry and are already through to Round 2 in the women’s doubles.
Mirza followed up that win with a title victory at the women’s doubles at the Connecticut Open with Romania’s Monica Niculescu, with her Cincinnati win taking her to the sole No. 1 spot – which she had earlier shared with former partner Martina Hingis.
Strycova and Mirza are seeded 7th at the US Open, and in Round 2 will play either the combine of Nicole Gibbs and Nao Hibino, or Michelle Krajicek and Heather Watson.
Paes, too, is through to the second round of the mixed doubles with partner Martina Hingis; one of the most successful mixed doubles combines in recent years, the Indo-Swiss pair beat Americans Sachia Vickery and Frances Tiafoe to progress to Round 2 here in New York.
Both mixed doubles pairs have looked in good form, with top-seeded Mirza in particular looking back on, and forward to, a robust tennis season.