Cincinnati Open: Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai reach quarter-finals, Ramkumar Ramanathan exits
Fourth seeds Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai made it to the quarter-finals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio with a 7-5, 6-4 win over the German-Ukrainian pair of Julia Georges and Olga Savchuk.
The Indo-Chinese combine will next take on the Romanian pair of Irina-Camelia Begu and Raluca Olaru.
Mirza is the defending champion at this tournament. She won it last year with Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic.
The fourth seeds had 55% of their first serves in and converted five out of their nine break point opportunities. The pair proved to be quite tenacious on their returns and saved as many as 11 out of the 14 break points that they faced.
Mirza and Peng Shuai, both former World No. 1s, paired up ahead of the US Open Series. The Indian has been struggling to form a stable partnership this season with quite a few of her partners opting out due to injuries. Even Peng Shuai hurt her knee last week and had to quit after the pair made the quarter-finals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
Ramkumar Ramanathan goes down fighting
In the men’s singles, lucky loser Ramkumar Ramanathan went down fighting 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 to American Jared Donaldson in the second round. Ramanathan served 12 aces but it was his poor conversion of break points - 2/8 (25%) - that let him down.
Ramkumar had lost his final round of qualifying but made it through to the main draw when Gael Monfils withdrew due to illness.
He beat qualifier Christopher Eubanks of the United States 6(5)-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round.
Earlier on Tuesday, Leander Paes too exited the Cincinnati Masters in the first round. Paes had teamed up with the Rogers Cup singles champion Alexander Zverev and the Indo-German combine was halted by former French Open champions Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez, 6-2, 6(2)-7, 6-10.
Rohan Bopanna, meanwhile, starts his campaign on Thursday. Bopanna is repeating his partnership with Ivan Dodig and the duo has been seeded seventh.
They take on Juan Sebastian Cabal and Fabio Fognini.
Bopanna and Dodig finished as runners-up at the Montreal Masters last week and are hoping to go one better in this event.