Madrid, May 8 (IANS)
Though stars Leander Paes and Sania Mirza lost their respective tennis matches at the Madrid Open, compatriot Rohan Bopanna kept the Indian flag flying high by reaching the men's doubles semifinals here on Friday. The unseeded Indo-Romanian pair of Bopanna and Florin Mergea overcame Colombian-French combine of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 in 51 minutes on the clay courts of Caja Magica.
In the first set, Bopanna and Mergea were broken once but went one better to seal the set in their favour. The second set turned out even better for them as they not only defended all four break point chances of Cabal and Mannarino, they also won two of the three break points available to them to win their quarterfinal battle.
They will next take on Spanish sixth seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez for a place in the final.
Sania and Paes lose with respective partners
Earlier on Thursday, Paes and Daniel Nestor lost in an hour and 20 minutes to wildcard pair of Spain's Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi of Belarus. The seventh seeds went down 6-7(4), 3-6 in the second round.
The first set was a neck-and-neck battle and had to be settled in a tie-breaker, which went in favour of the wildcard combine. Lopez and Mirnyi got the lone break they needed on their third chance in the second set to settle matters in their favour.
Later in the women's doubles quarterfinal, World No.1 Sania, partnering veteran Martina Hingis, went down 6-7(5), 6-3, 9-11 in an hour and 41 minutes to American-Czech seventh seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.
After sharing the first two sets, Bethanie and Lucie proved a tad bit better than their top seed opponents to come out as winners of the super tie-break.