Australian Open 2017: Leander Paes and Martina Hingis book quarter-final berth
Experienced former Australian Open winners Leander Paes and Martina Hingis today took a straight sets win over the local Australian combine of Casey Dellacqua and Matt Reid, winning 6-2, 6-3. Paes and Hingis, who won the title in 2015, were ousted early on last year by Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig.
Today, the pair, following a strong opening match, were on form against their younger all-Australian rivals, playing some great reflex shots. Lofty serving by both Paes and Hingis helped their cause, with the Australians facing tough returns on the other end of the net.
The two ably supported each other, with one player making up despite errors from the other. Employing some able strategy, the two quickly took an early break, and some errors and crucial net cords off the racquet of Reid saw the Indo-Swiss combine race to a 4-1 lead in the first set.
With a combined age of 79, the two are one of the older mixed doubles combines on court. But age did not seem to be a factor here, with Hingis pulling out some very quick serves and a 134km/h forehand winner that Reid remained unable to return.
Dellacqua and Reid were unable to return at crucial points, eventually giving Hingis and Paes the first set 6-2 in 24 minutes.
The second set was less one-sided, and Dellacqua and Reid both brought out aces at key moments to keep themselves firmly in it. The games also went far longer than the previous set, with scores going level until a double fault from the Australians precipitated a break of serve for the Indo-Swiss pair. That break looked to be key, and between a quick return from Hingis and an ace from Paes, the two sealed the set – and the match – 6-3.
The two will now play the quarter-finals, with their opponents to be decided.