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Cincinnati Masters: Winning start for new Sania Mirza-Barbora Strycova partnership

Strycova is Mirza's first women's doubles partner after 14 months together with Martina Hingis.

sania mirza
The match statistics suggest that Mirza and Strycova had a gala time on the court

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis may have decided to end the legendary ‘Santina’ team but one thing that remains unchanged is the Indian’s winning touch on the WTA Tour. Her new partnership with Czech player Barbora Strycova got off to a winning start at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, USA on Thursday.

The duo, seeded seventh at this tournament, thrashed the Australian combine of Darija Jurak and Anastasia Rodionova, 6-2, 6-3 in this first round match in just 56 minutes.

The match statistics suggest that Mirza and Strycova had a gala time on the court. They converted four out of their eight break point opportunities while getting broken themselves just once.

Next up for this newly-minted pair is the American combine of Christina McHale and Maria Sanchez.

The 30-year-old Strycova, who won the women’s doubles bronze at the Rio Olympics, is Sania’s first doubles partner after 17 months together with Hingis. The Indo-Swiss duo cited their recent struggle to notch up wins on a consistent basis as the only reason for the split. They had won 14 doubles titles that included three Grand Slam crowns.

In a recent interview with the WTA at Cincinnati, Strycova had revealed that they have currently signed up for two tournaments, the other being the US Open. But they are yet to take a call about the future.

“We’ll try to play here and the US Open, and we’ll see how it goes. Maybe we’ll play together more after that.”

Rohan Bopanna out

Meanwhile, it was the end of the road for the other Indian playing at the same tournament. Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea were shown the door in the second round. The seventh seeds lost 6(3)-7, 4-6 to Max Mirnyi and Treat Huey in 1 hour 7 minutes.

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