Mixed doubles top seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig began their campaign at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday and what initially appeared to be a cakewalk for them turned into a disaster as the Indo-Croatian pair squandered four match points to lose their opener. Their opponents – the British duo of Anna Smith and Neal Skupski – were a relatively unknown pair and far less experienced than the two who combine for seven Major titles.
But that did not deter them from capitalizing on their slim chances and hand the heavy favourites a shocking 6-4, 3-6, 5-7 loss in 2 hours 7 minutes.
Mirza and Dodig began the tennis match on a bright note, breaking their opponents thrice to seal a tight first set 6-4.
However, Mirza’s serve always looked the most vulnerable out of the four and it fell apart completely in the second set. Despite that, they were presented with 15 break point chances which unfortunately went begging.
Their inability to convert those chances came back hard at them as the British pair thrived on the single break point conversion that they made to clinch the second set 6-3.
The third set seemed to be totally in the grasp of the 2016 French Open runners-up as they raced away to a 4-1 and then a 5-2 lead. Serving for the match at 5-3, they were awarded with three match points which were wasted and subsequently they were broken back.
On Skupski and Smith’s serve too, they had another match point but that too was gone as the score was levelled 5-5.
Mirza’s serving woes came back to haunt at the most inopportune moment and the British combine did not waste any more opportunity to take the win.
Bopanna-Rodionova too bow out
The miseries continued for the Indian contingent on Tuesday as the 13th seeds Rohan Bopanna and Anastasia Rodionova too bowed out after a 6(5)-7, 3-6 loss to the Colombian combine of Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Mariana Duque-Mariano.
The Indo-Australian pair was quite unlucky as the Colombians converted their only break point of the match in the second set that put paid to all hopes of a comeback from Bopanna and Rodionova.
Thandi’s singles campaign ends
There was more disappointing news for Indian fans coming from the juniors’ event. The only Indian junior playing at the 2016 Wimbledon – 18-year-old Karman Kaur Thandi – lost her singles second round match 6-4, 2-6, 2-6 to Mariam Bolkvadze of Georgia.