US Open 2016: What to expect from India - Leander Paes through in mixed doubles as Bopanna, top seed Mirza play today
Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will all be in action at the US Open today.
The immensely successful Indo-Swiss pair of Leander Paes and Martina Hingis have won their first round match at the US Open mixed doubles with a win over the young American combine of Sascha Vickery and Frances Tiafoe in straight sets.
The defending champions at Flushing Meadows, the pair won the Career Grand Slam this year with their title victory at Roland Garros, making them the holders of all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously.
After coming together in early 2015, the Paes-Hingis combine has been one of the most successful in the mixed doubles after both having found success in their respective doubles events.
Among the oldest players in the US Open draw, Paes and Hingis held a combined forty-year age difference to their rivals.
Although the pair have not been in as good a form as 2015, they have won a Grand Slam title this year; the defending champions at Wimbledon, they were osuted in Round 3 by the eventual championship-winning combine of Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen.
For now, the two look in good nick to, at the very least, progress to the quarterfinals.
Rohan Bopanna and his new Danish partner Frederik Nielsen also took a win – an uphill fight against Radek Stepanek and Nenad Zimonjic, who were seeded 16th at the tournament, with the Indian unseeded here.
Today, Bopanna and Nielsen will play their second round match.
Mirza, after taking a first-round victory in the women’s doubles with her new partner Barbora Strycova, will today play her first mixed doubles match. Top seeded with Croat ace Ivan Dodig, the pair will take on the all-American combine of Taylor Townsend and Donald Young.
After parting ways with Hingis earlier this year, Mirza partnered with Czech ace Barbora Strycova, and the two have seen results almost instantly. After winning the title at the Western and Southern Open, the pair will be on a high, and have exhibited a strong on-court chemistry. Mirza in particular has been playing some strong tennis, and followed up her win in Cincinnati with a title victory at the women’s doubles in Connecticut, this time partnering Monica Niculescu of Romania.
Strycova and Mirza wrapped up their first round women’s doubles match in quick fashion, 6-3, 6-2, which is a good sign for their matches going forward, and carrying over into the mixed doubles.
In the mixed doubles, however, all three Indians are in the top quarter- meaning only one Indian player can potentially make it to the finals here.
Paes today will play with Andre Begemann in the men’s doubles; the pair reached the finals of the Winston-Salem Tennis Open last week, but squandered five match points to lose the title there – something they will want to be careful about going into the future.
Having seen their first-round match postponed due to rain, the Indo-German pair will take on Israel’s Dudi Sela and his partner Stephane Robert of France, while Bopanna plays the doubles against Brian Baker and Marcus Daniel today.
With Saketh Myneni having taken Jiri Vesely to five sets before his eventual first-round loss, Indian players have established themselves at the US Open this year already. Will they be able to continue that form?
That will be the focus of today’s play, with all three playing – albeit across disciplines.