In a major shock, the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open women’s doubles champions Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were knocked out 3-6, 2-6 in the third round of the 2016 French Open by the unseeded Czech team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova on Sunday.
The top seeds failed to find their footing throughout the match and were broken seven times. They were presented with a faint glimmer of hope when they broke back the 20-year-olds to reduce the deficit to 2-5 in the second set. But the Indo-Swiss duo could not hold their serve and the Czech duo closed out the win in the very next game.
Krejcikova and Siniakova are no strangers to Slam success in doubles, even though it all came at the junior level. In 2013, they captured the French Open, Wimbledon as well as the US Open girls’ doubles titles.
With this loss, Hingis and Mirza’s dreams of completing a Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam end. They have won five titles this year, the most recent of which came at the Italian Open on clay just a week before the French Open.
Paes-Matkowski oust the Australian Open champions
India’s evergreen tennis ace Leander Paes had been struggling since the beginning of the 2016 season so much so that he even sought to sharpen his skills at the Challenger level. It proved to be a wise decision as he and Sam Groth captured the Busan Challenger title in the first week of May.
That was the first signal that the 42-year-old is feeling confident again. Now the three-time French Open men’s doubles champion has taken it a level further as he and his Polish partner Marcin Matkowski upset the Australian Open winners Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 7-6(5), 7-6(4) to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
Both the sets followed the same pattern as the fourth-seeded British-Brazilian pair and the 16th seeded Indo-Polish combine traded a pair of breaks to enforce a tie-break.
Paes and Matkowski emerged the better team in both the tie-breaks to make it through to the last-eight.
Mixed fortunes for Bopanna
The men’s doubles sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea too entered the quarter-finals though they had to work harder. The Indo-Romanian pair got off to a strong start, breaking the American-Kiwi duo of Brian Baker and Marcus Daniell twice to claim the first set 6-2. The second set was even and it headed to a tie-break where the unseeded team dominated to take it 7-6(4).
Bopanna and Mergea had the upper hand once again in the third set to take the win, 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-1 in 1 hour and 48 minutes.
However, the Indian ran out of luck in mixed doubles second round even after taking a one-set lead against the top-seeded pair of Jamie Murray and Hao-Ching Chan. The Indo-Russian combine of Bopanna and Alla Kudryavtseva bowed out in a tight match, 2-6, 6-3, 8-10.
Karman Thandi win first round of girls’ singles
There was some good news for Indian fans coming from the juniors’ competition that began on Sunday. 17-year-old Karman Kaur Thandi, who is ranked 42nd in juniors, convincingly beat the 48th ranked Romanian Oana Gavrila 6-1, 7-5 to enter the second round of the girls’ singles event.Published 29 May 2016, 23:45 IST