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Cincinnati Open: Indian challenge ends with losses for Mirza and Bopanna

161   //    19 Aug 2017, 11:49 IST

Bopanna and pa
Bopanna and partner Ivan Dodig

The Indian campaign came to a screeching halt at the 2017 Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio with twin losses for Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna on Friday. Mirza and Peng Shuai, seeded fourth, went down to the unseeded pair of Monica Niculescu and Su-Wei Hsieh, 4-6, 6(6)-7 in the semi-finals.

In men’s doubles, the seventh seeds Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig were edged by the second seeded Wimbledon champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-10 in the quarter-finals.

Bopanna and Dodig paid the price for their inability to convert any of the four break points they got. The Polish-Brazilian combine, meanwhile, was able to secure two breaks of serve which proved decisive.

Mirza, who has not been able to have a stable partnership in 2017, was trying to build some form at this tournament. Her last few partners have all opted out due to injuries. Even Peng Shuai was forced to give a walkover in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals last week after hurting her knee.

The pair’s poor conversion of break points (1/7) came back to haunt them in this 1 hour 33 minute match.

The Indian was looking to defend the title she won last year alongside Barbora Strycova. Mirza has only a solitary title to her name this year, which she won in tandem with Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Brisbane in January.

Earlier, Leander Paes’ run had come to an end in the first round. The veteran had teamed up with Montreal Masters singles champion Alexander Zverev but they were ousted 6-2, 6(2)-7, 6-10 by Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.

Nadal upset by Kyrgios

In singles, the soon-to-be-World No. 1 Rafael Nadal’s title hopes were dashed by Nick Kyrgios, who upset the top seed, 6-2, 7-5 in the quarter-finals. The Spaniard was staring at defeat while serving at 3-5 in the second set when he saved multiple match points to hold and break the Australian.

However, with a sloppy service game, he handed the advantage back to Kyrgios, who broke him to love and served out the win soon after.

Kyrgios next faces former French Open runner-up David Ferrer, who beat the third seed Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 6-3.

The other semi-final will be between the seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov and the 14th seeded John Isner.

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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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