Indians at US Open 2015 : Bopanna, Mirza and Paes
In the recent months Sania Mirza may have established herself as the best Indian player of the moment, but Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes are also trying their best to get their share of glory. With the final major of the year beginning today, here’s a look at the Indians in fray:
Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mergea
ATP doubles Rank : 10
First round vs. Austin Krajicek/Nicholas Monroe
Result Last Year : First round (with Aisam Qureshi)
Career best result : Finals (2010)
On course to reach the ATP World Tour finals for the third time in his career, Rohan Bopanna, in tandem with doubles partner Florin Mergea of Romania, has made the most of a partnership that started just during the clay court swing.
Having had very good results during both the clay court and grass court tournaments, the duo would like to continue their form at the US Open as well, although their results from the two preceding Masters tournaments are not encouraging. With just one win from both events, they may not have had the best preparation.
With most of the players ranked around them not defending many points, it will be an even race in the rankings. Bopanna and Mergea now have the chance to further their rankings, with this gaining more significance during this Olympic qualification period, wanting to qualify for the first time as a team.
Their draw is dotted with tough opponents. They could run into the in-form team of Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger Vasselin in the third round, both of whom have played with Bopanna, and second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the quarters. It is not just these two pairs, however, as Bopanna and Mergea would have to face a handful of tough teams if they want to win the title.
Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza
WTA doubles Rank : 1
First Round vs. Kaitlyn Christian/Sabrina Santamaria
Result Last Year: Semifinals (w/Cara Black)
Career best result : Semifinals (2013,2014)
Two semifinal finishes might not be the best possible preparation for the World No. 1 pair, who suffered a recent loss to Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik at the Rogers Cup.
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have both a great number of points to defend from their last outing – Mirza was a semi-finalist, and Hingis a part of the the runner-up team. Having said this, Mirza’s career has been on the upswing ever since the two teamed up. Despite this, they enter the draw as one of the favourites to win the title.
Peaking at the top of the rankings and then winning Wimbledon in an epic battle of nerves, she will only look to better her results. In the absence of the defending champions Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova (Vesnina will play with Eugenie Bouchard), Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova will be their biggest hurdle.
Their half looks like the easier of the two with some of the tougher teams in the bottom. Their potential quarterfinal opponents could be the Chan sisters, who toppled them at the Western and Southern Open. Some of the best teams in the second quarter include Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic and Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta.
If they are able to recover from their recent losses, they could face an easy road to the finals, except for one or two matches, where they could face some high quality opposition.
Leander Paes/Fernando Verdasco
ATP doubles Rank : 29
First Round vs : Florian Mayer/ Frank Moser
Result Last Year : Third round (w/Radek Stepanek)
Career best result : Win (2006,2009,2013)
Though he has won two mixed doubles titles this year, Leander Paes has not managed a successful run with any of the men he has played with. Not having a stable partnership would mean that he might not qualify for the tour finals, deni\ying him the chance to grab one the pieces of silverware missing from his cabinet.
After unsuccessful stints with Raven Klaasen and Daniel Nestor, Paes is now going to play with Fernando Verdasco at the US Open. The pair might not have played together earlier, but the Spaniard is a successful doubles player too. As Verdasco has not played doubles regularly this year, and also due to Paes’ plummeting ranking, the two are not seeded here.
Their chances here might not be easy to predict as they could play the top-seeded Bryan brothers in the very second round.