French Open 2017: Mixed luck for India but Bopanna shines
Indians performing at the French Open today were greeted with mixed results. Grand Slam winner and former World No. 1 Leander Paes today put up spirited fights in the men’s – and mixed doubles, partnering American Scott Lipsky in the men’s and former World No.1 . Martina Hingis in the mixed doubles – but crashed out in both.
Paes did not go down without a fight, however. Playing Spain’s David Marrero and Tommy Robredo in Round 2, Paes and Lipsky took the first set to a tense tiebreak, coming back from 4-0 down in that tie; however, it was the Spanish pair who eventually won that. It was through the second set that the Indo-American pair lost steam, however, eventually losing 6-7, 2-6.
Paired with longterm mixed doubles partner Martina Hingis, Paes took on Katerina Srebotnik and Raven Klaasen in the first round of the mixed doubles; they lost the first set 4-6 before mounting a massive fight back to take the second set 6-1 and swinging the momentum firmly in their favour.
Although they looked to have placed themselves in a winning position, the Indo-Swiss pair were thoroughly outclassed in the decider, going down 2-10.
Sania Mirza and mixed doubles partner Ivan Dodig are seeded fourth at the French Open, and the former Grand Slam finalists beat the all-Croat combine of Darija Jurak and Mate Pavic in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, to take victory in Round 1 of the mixed doubles. The two will take on the Australian-Ukrainian combine of Artem Sitak and Elina Svitolina next.
Of all the Indians at Roland Garros, it is Rohan Bopanna who has been the most succesful. The top-ranked Indian doubles ace and his partner Pablo Cuevas, seeded 9th at the French Open, took a hard-fought win over Treat Huey and Denis Istomin today, winning 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. They will next meet former World No. 1 ranked pair and fifth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
Although Murray and Soares are the higher-ranked pair, Bopanna and Cuevas have had big successes on clay this year, winning the Monte Carlo Masters title together; Cuevas has also had success in the singles on the surface, and will contest Fernando Verdasco in Round 3 of the singles tomorrow.
Bopanna and mixed doubles partner Gabriela Dabrowski also had a successful start to the Open, beating Matt Reid and Jessica Moore 6-0, 6-1 in only 39 minutes – and the seventh-seeded Indo-Canadian pair will now take on local hopes Chloe Paquet and Benoit Paire.
India’s Purav Raja and Divij Sharan will also contest Round 3 of the doubles tomorrow; they play Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus fresh off an upset over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who were seeded 15th at the tournament.