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French Open doubles: Leander Paes-Martina Hingis, Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodig progress; Purav Raja exits

FEATURED COLUMNIST
768   //    26 May 2016, 22:21 IST
sania mirza
Mirza-Dodig had a hassle-free day as they cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 win

Indian players had a successful day in mixed doubles at the 2016 French Open on Thursday as the pairs of Sania Mirza/Ivan Dodig and Leander Paes/Martina Hingis both won their opening round matches. But luck ran out for Purav Raja in men’s doubles as he and Ivo Karlovic exited the tournament in the first round.

Comfortable wins for Paes-Hingis and Mirza-Dodig

Three-time Major champions Paes and Hingis did not have much trouble from fellow unseeded German-Colombian team of Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah as they prevailed over them 6-4, 6-4. The Indo-Swiss pair broke them for a 4-2 lead in the first set. Groenefeld and Farah did break back once to reduce the deficit to 4-5.

But they could not hold their serves as Paes and Hingis broke again to grab the first set 6-4.

The second set turned out to be a mirror image of the first as the Indo-Swiss combine took the upper hand with a 4-2 advantage. It was a case of missed opportunities for Groenefeld and Farah as they were presented with four break point chances in this set but could not convert any of them.

Leander and Martina soon wrapped up the match to book their places in the second round. They will next face the fourth seeds Florin Mergea and Yaroslava Shvedova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Second seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals, too had a hassle-free day as they cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 win over the all-French team of Mathilde Johansson and Tristan Lamasine. After taking the first set 6-4, they secured an early break in the second set to race ahead to 5-2. As their opponents served, the Indo-Croatian pair had three match points.

But Johansson and Lamasine fought back to save all three of them and close in on 3-5. Their joy was, however, short-lived as Mirza and Dodig clinched the win in the very next game.

Purav Raja crashes out

In men’s doubles, the unseeded pairing of Ivo Karlovic and Purav Raja went down meekly as they failed to put up any resistance against the ninth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya. The Polish-Austrian duo was too strong as they broke Raja and Karlovic a total of four times to seal the 6-1, 6-2 win in 47 minutes.

Nadal, Serena breeze through, Tsonga made to sweat

Nine-time champion at Roland Garros Rafael Nadal and defending Women’s Single champion Serena Williams both also had easy paths into the next round, winning their matches in straight sets in convincing fashion.

Nadal defeated Fancudo Bagnis 6-3 6-0 6-3 while Williams moved past Teliana Pereira in straight sets as well 6-2 6-1.Novak Djokovic also cruised into the next round with a straight sets win over Steve Darcis, 7-5 6-3 6-4

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga had to really struggle past Marcos Baghdatis, beating him eventually in 5 sets, 6-7 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
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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