French Open: Leander Paes-Martina Hingis to face Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodig in final
It can’t get any better for Indian tennis fans. On Friday, three-time Major champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis will face the second seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig for the French Open mixed doubles title.
Both the pairs had to fight hard for the much-coveted final spot. While Mirza/Dodig stopped the third seeds and local hope Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Kristina Mladenovic 4-6, 6-3, 12-10, Hingis/Paes carved out a 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 victory over the sixth seeds Edouard Roger-Vasselin/Andrea Hlavackova.
Paes and Hingis raced out to a strong start, breaking the sixth seeds once. But the French-Czech combine came back in the second set, riding on two breaks of serve.
The match tie-break stayed mostly even until the highly experienced Indo-Swiss duo clinched the last three points for the win.
Both Paes and Hingis need just the French Open mixed doubles title to complete their doubles career Slam.
It was the exact opposite for Mirza and Dodig, who lost the first set but rebounded to grab the second set. With the momentum on their side, they surged to a 6-1 lead in the match tie-break.
The French pair, however, came back to reduce the deficit to 5-6 and they even held a match point at 9-8. The Indo-Croatian duo saved that and finally won on their second match point to make their first Grand Slam final as a team.
Earlier in the day, both the pairs won their quarter-final matches as rain had pushed back the schedule.
Hingis and Paes upset the reigning Australian Open champions Bruno Soares and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3 in their quarter-final. Mirza and Dodig had a tougher road as they went the distance to see off the seventh seeds Max Mirnyi and Yung-Jan Chan, 6-1, 3-6, 10-6.
Karman Thandi enters girls’ doubles quarter-finals
There was some good news coming in from the junior competition too. Karman Thandi and her Australian partner Jaimee Fourlis edged past the all-American pair of Caty McNally and Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 to reach the quarter-finals in girls’ doubles.