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China Open 2017: Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai reach quarter-finals

357   //    03 Oct 2017, 19:41 IST

2017 Wuhan Open - Semi-Finals
Sania Mirza (left) is seeking her third title in Beijing

The third-seeded women’s doubles team of Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai made a great start to their China Open campaign by storming into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets win at Beijing on Tuesday. The Indo-Chinese pair needed 1 hour 16 minutes to dismiss the challenge of the Belgian-Dutch duo of Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs, 7-5, 6-2 in their opener.

Next up for them is the winner of the second-round contest between the fifth seeds Katerina Siniakova-Barbora Strycova and Hao-Ching Chan-Alize Cornet.

Mirza and Peng had 72% of their first serves in and converted five out of their seven break point opportunities while getting broken twice. The seeded combine won a total of 64 points in contrast to which, Mertens and Schuurs were able to grab only 54.

Mirza and Peng are coming off a semi-final appearance at Wuhan last week where they lost to the top seeds and eventual champions Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan.

At this week’s China Open too, the two pairs are slated to meet each other in the last-four stage.

Mirza is seeking her third title in Beijing, having won it in 2013 and 2015.

Also read: China Open: Sharapova credits aggression for hard-fought Makarova win

Bopanna too enters quarter-finals

India’s Rohan Bopanna too shone in his opening match at the China Open on Monday. Bopanna is unseeded this week alongside Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. The two needed just 53 minutes to prevail over the all-Chinese pair of Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang, 6-0, 6-4 en route to the quarter-finals.

They secured five breaks of serve and conceded just a solitary break.

Bopanna and Cuevas have a tough task up next as they face the top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers.

Nadal saves two match points

2017 China Open - Day 4
Rafael Nadal celebrates his first round win at the China Open in Beijing on Tuesday

Fresh from winning his third US Open title, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal had to work extra hard for his first round win at the China Open on Tuesday. The top seed and 2005 champion saved a couple of match points in the second set tie-break to grind out a thrilling 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-5 victory over the World No. 23 Lucas Pouille.

Pouille had emerged victorious in their last showdown at the 2016 US Open where he ousted the Spaniard in five sets.

The Frenchman looked on course for an encore when he inched ahead 6-4 in the second set-tie-break, holding two match points. Nadal saved both and won the next couple of points as well to set up a decider.

He carved out the decisive break of serve in the eleventh game of the third set before serving out the win.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion faces the 42nd ranked Karen Khachanov for a place in the quarter-finals.

Also read: Nadal 'heartbroken' over referendum clashes

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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