Indians at 2015 French Open: Sania Mirza's firsts and Mahesh Bhupathi's comeback
Sania Mirza’s first Grand Slam as the World No. 1
The Indian challenge at this Grand Slam, as has been for long, is spearheaded by our doubles players. With the exit of singles players Yuki Bhambri, Somdev Devvarman and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the second round of the qualifying competition, the expectations fall on our doubles players.
The most successful among them in recent times, Sania Mirza, enters her first Grand slam as the world no.1 and as the top seed. She will pair up with Martina Hingis, with whom she has won three titles and finished runners-up once, in six tournaments played together. The combine has done exceedingly well from the beginning and will be among the foremost contenders for the title.
Mirza had earlier reached her only women’s doubles finals in 2011 at the same event, with then partner Elena Vesnina. They open their campaign against the German-Czech team of Julia Gorges and Barbara Krejcikova. Their main rivals could be the third seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Times Babos, fifth seeds Gabrine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro and seventh seeds and Australian open Champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.
This event will see another first for Mirza, being the top seed in both her doubles events, with her being the top seed in the Mixed doubles draw as well. She will continue her partnership with Brazilian Bruno Soares. They will face defending Champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Anna-Lena Gronefeld.
Bopanna, Paes and Bhupathi look to make a mark in men’s doubles
Rohan Bopanna continues his partnership with Romanian Florin Mergea. The duo is seeded ninth and opens against Filip Krajinoic and Victor Troicki. They already have a title to theirt credit after winning the Madrid Masters recently. They are likely to face Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Teacu in the round of 16 and second seeds Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in the quarterfinals. Bopanna will play mixed doubles with Yaroslava Shvedova. Their first match is against Lucie Hradecka and Marcin Matkowski.
Seeded tenth, Leander Paes and Danier Nestor, an all star team, will try to improve their poor form at their first slam together. Their first match is against James Duckworth amd Chris Guccione and they are likely to face Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the round of sixteen. He is better poised to claim the Mixed doubles trophy, where he will team up with Martins Hingis. They are seeded eighth and open against Alla Kudryavtseva and Juan Sebastian Cabal.
An interesting addition to the draw will be Mahesh Bhupathi, who will play with Nick Kyrgios using a protected ranking. He had earlier played at a few tournaments including the Chennai Open. He played with Kyrgios in the Madrid Open earlier this month and lost in the first round. Their first round is against wild cards Thanasi Kokkinakis and Lucas Pouille. They are drawn to meet the top seeded Bryans in the second round.