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Wimbledon 2016: Indian challenge ends as Leander Paes and Martina Hingis knocked out

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Earlier, the women's defending champions Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis lost in the quarter-finals.

Leander Paes Martina Hingis
Defending champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis lost to Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson

Thursday turned out to be an extremely disappointing day for the Indian contingent at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships as the Indian challenge came to an end at the hallowed grasscourt Slam in London. The women’s defending champions Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were the first ones to bow out after a one-sided 2-6, 4-6 loss to the fifth seeds Yaroslava Shvedova and Timea Babos in the quarter-finals.

(Read in detail here.)

The Swiss Miss later on met with the same misfortune in mixed doubles too where she was the defending champion alongside Leander Paes. The 16th seeds squandered a one-set lead to crash out 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 to British-Finnish duo of Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen in the third round.

Besides them, India’s only junior entrant Karman Kaur Thandi too joined the exodus after ending up on the losing side of a marathon second round match in girls’ doubles.

Paes and Hingis blow away a lead

The Indo-Swiss Grand Slam winners were off to a bright start as their unseeded opponents struggled a lot with the duo’s versatility. Within 14 minutes, they were ahead 3-0 after which the British-Finnish pair finally got on the board to make it 1-3.

With a game in the pocket, they became freer and started attacking the defending champions. Their efforts were finally paid off when Hingis and Paes lost their break advantage on a double fault in the seventh game.

The 16th seeds, however, soon bounced back from the setback to make in-roads into their opponents’ game once more and serve out the first set successfully.

But the course of the match changed drastically from there. Kontinen and Watson played brilliantly from thereon and broke the reigning French Open champions in the sixth game of the second set to take a 4-2 lead.

They maintained their composure admirably well and calmly served out the set 6-3.

Brimming with confidence, the unseeded pair struck in the fifth game of the deciding set to surge to a 3-2 lead. With ferocious backhand winners, they put more pressure on their far more accomplished opponents who crumbled again, slumping to 2-5.

Kontinen and Watson then grabbed the win in 1 hour 31 minutes.

This is the first time ever that Watson and Kontinen have paired up.

Karman Thandi bows out after a mighty battle

They were facing the top seeds Olesya Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova of Russia in the second round of girls’ doubles but the Indo-Canadian pair of Karman Thandi and Charlotte Robillard-Millette refused to be intimidated by their presence. In an enthralling battle that lasted 2 hours 22 minutes, the unseeded girls went down after a mighty fight, 6(4)-7, 6-4, 9-11.

The first set was a tight affair and the two pairs had a break of serve apiece. Thandi and her Canadian partner made less errors in the second set. They were also able to convert two out of their four break point chances that helped to swing the set their way.

The third set turned out to be a marathon and it was the unseeded duo that had the initial advantage after they broke the top seeds to inch ahead 3-2. However, the Russians soon levelled the set as they broke back to make it 3-3.

The set continued to be on serve until the 20th game where the Indo-Canadian combine was broken on a double fault to lose the match.


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