Australian Open 2017: Sania Mirza/Ivan Dodig in incredible comeback for semis spot, could play Hingis/Paes
The second seeded mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig today took a 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 win over their Indo-Canadian rivals Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski at the quarter-finals of the Australian Open today, putting Mirza and Dodig in closer contention for the title.
Mirza, who has won the Australian Open title before with former men’s doubles No. 1 Mahesh Bhupathi, has three grand slam mixed doubles titles in her kitty and has enjoyed succcess with Dodig; the pair were runners up at the French Open last year, losing to Leander Paes and Martina Hingis.
Paes and Hingis will tomorrow face the all-Australian pair of Sam Stosur and Sam Groth in their own quarter-final; the Indo-Swiss pair lost out to Dodig and Mirza at the quarter-final stage at the Australian Open last year.
Both pairs have been successful, but Hingis and Paes have won grand slam titles in the past year together. The rivalry between the two pairs will also be intensified given that Hingis and Mirza ended their immensely successful doubles partnership last year after winning a series of titles. Mirza and Hingis were also the defending champions in the women’s doubles, with both seeing early exits with their new partners, Barbora Strycova and CoCo Vandeweghe respectively.
This year, Mirza dropped to World No. 3 in the women’s doubles rankings after ending a second consecutive year – 2016 – as the top-ranked women’s doubles player – a ranking she eventually gave up after winning the title with sometime partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Mattek-Sands, who is pairing up with Mike Bryan, one half of the most-decorated men’s doubles pair in tennis history, will play her own quarter-final tomorrow; the American is also in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles playing Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato. Incidentally, it was the all-Japanese pair who were responsible for the shock exit of Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova.