Misery in mixed doubles continued for the Indian contingent as the top-seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig was the latest to crash out of the 2016 US Open on Sunday. The Indo-Croatian duo lost 3-6, 4-6 to the unseeded Croatian-Czech combine of Marin Draganja and Barbora Krejcikova in the second round in just 1 hour 5 minutes.
This was the only match involving Indians on Day 7 of the season’s final Slam.
Krejcikova and Draganja were the more aggressive players having thundered 25 winners to Mirza-Dodig’s 19. They also made less unforced errors – 10, which was four less than what the top seeds committed.
But what really hurt the experienced Indo-Croatian team was their inability to convert more break points. They could make use of only four out of the eight chances they got while their opponents converted six out of nine break points.
Interestingly, the 20-year-old Krejcikova is one-half of the team that stopped the unanimous favourites Mirza and Martina Hingis at the French Open third round this year when the famed ‘Santina’ team was chasing a Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam.
Bopanna only Indian left in mixed doubles
Mirza’s exit in mixed doubles follows the departure of Leander Paes from the entire 2016 US Open. Paes and Hingis, who were the defending champions, were narrowly edged out 6(1)-7, 6-3, 11-13 by the seventh seeds Coco Vandeweghe and Rajeev Ram in the second round.
Earlier, Paes had also seen his men’s doubles campaign getting ended by the slimmest of margins. The evergreen icon, who was partnering Germany’s Andre Begemann, squandered a set and a break lead to lose 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 to the unseeded Israeli-French duo of Dudi Sela and Stephane Robert in the first round.
It thus leaves Rohan Bopanna as the only Indian flying the Tricolour high in mixed doubles. The 36-year-old, partnering Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, put up a gutsy show to knock out the sixth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Andrea Hlavackova, 5-7, 6-3, 10-7 to enter the quarter-finals. They next face fellow unseeded combine of Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah.
Bopanna is, however, already out of the men’s doubles competition. He and Frederik Nielsen bowed out 2-6, 6(5)-7 to Brian Baker and Marcus Daniell in Round 2.
Mirza still alive in women’s doubles
As for Sania Mirza, she is still in contention in women’s doubles. The Indian along with Czech veteran Barbora Strycova have entered the third round where they are up against the Japanese-American combine of Nao Hibino and Nicole Gibbs.