Australian Open Day 7 : Disappointing day for Indians as Sania crashes out, even as Paes/Hingis advance
While the women's doubles disappointed, two Indians are through at the girls' singles.
Sania Mirza and her Czech partner, Barbora Srycova, suffered a shock defeat to unseeded Japanese pair of Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato 3-6 6-2 2-6 to crash out in the 3rd round of the Women's Doubles event. Both Sania and Strycova were off-color today, with Strycova's serve proving to be the major weak link. Sania had won the title here last year partnering Swiss ace Martina Hingis.
Today, the duo were initially on the receiving end of an inspired bout of tennis from the unheralded Japanese pair, finding themselves down a break early, as Strycova lost her serve. They immediately broke back in the next game to level things up, but the Japanese pair played some wonderful tennis to break Sania's serve to love in the very next game.
And in no time, the Indo-Czech duo found themselves down 5-2. Mirza and Strycova managed to pull it back to 5-3, but in the next game on Sania's serve, they faced six set points, which they managed to save with some gritty play under pressure. But the seventh one proved to be a bit too much , as they succumbed to surrender the set 6-3.
Sania and Strycova raised their game a several notches in the second set to break their opponent's serve twice to wrap the second set up 6-2. Sania seemed to have find her groove on her forehand, which was quite evidently missing in the first set.
The Japanese pair were back to their elements in the third set, coming back from a break down to break the Strycova serve to level things up. They later broke Strycova's serve again, this time on a double fault, to go up 4-2. They then broke Sania's serve at 5-2 after being 40-15 down to wrap the set 6-2.
Paes-Hingis though to 2nd round
In their mixed doubles first round match, the evergreen duo of Leander Paes and Martina Hingis came back from a slow start to overcome Australia's teenage pairing of Marc Polmans and Destanee Aiava. Paes & Hingis used their rich reserves of experience extremely well to come back from a 4-2 deficit in the first set, winning four games on the trot to take the first set 6-4.
Paes Hingis broke Polmans' serve in the very first game to edge ahead in the 2nd set. And they maintained that lead beautifully up until 5-3, when they broke Polmans' serve again on the deciding point at 40-40 to wrap up a comfortable 6-4 6-3 victory in the end.
Juniors have a mixed day
It was a mixed day for our junior players though, as 15-year old Mahak Jain lost to 11th seeded Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine in the 1st round. Mahak managed to stay toe-to-toe with her opponent for most part of the match, but eventually lost 3-6 3-6. Mahak, ranked 47 in the ITF Juniors rankings, is one of the best 2001 born players on the ITF Juniors tour.
Another Indian junior, Mihika Yadav, won her match, dispatching British qualifier Ali Collins in straight sets. Mihika is ranked 884th in the WTA Rankings. She joins Zeel Desai in the 2nd round to keep Indian hopes alive in the Girl's Singles event.