Review: Indians shine at Wimbledon 2013
This year’s Wimbledon has given Indian fans many reasons to rejoice. Though Somdev Devvarman made an early exit, India’s top doubles stars provided us with much fun and excitement. Rohan Bopanna, among others proved that he is a worthy doubles player and Sania Mirza seems to have found a good partner. Here is a synoptical view of each player, starting with the best.
The man who has distinguished himself this time is this tall man from Coorg. Just before The Championships, it was announced that Bopanna would not team up with Mahesh Bhupathi at Wimbledon. Although it was disappointing in the beginning, it turned out to be a good decision. They have never progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam as a team.
His partner this year was Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They were teaming up for the first time. The results didn’t suggest so. This newly formed team began well.
In the third round, when they faced the in-form duo of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, seeded third, many would have thought that the 14th seeds would not progress. Instead, the big serving duo won the encounter in four sets. They proved that they were not the underdogs.
After passing another test in the quarterfinals in five sets against Daniel Nestor and Robert Lindstedt, they set up a semifinal showdown against the top seeds – the Bryan brothers. The semifinals was another roller coaster affair with the match proceeding into the fifth set. The Bryans mustered all their experience to thwart off the challenge from the aspiring big serving pair of Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin.
This performance of Bopanna is by far his best this year. He has reached his first semifinal at a slam since the US Open in 2011. This was not all.
Along with Chinese Zheng Jie, he reached the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles competition only to lose in three sets on a day when he had laboured hard to reach his second grand slam final just a few hours ago.
After a series of decent performances with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Mirza decided to partner with veteran Liezel Huber. Mattek-Sands had decided not to play doubles at Wimbledon. The duo won their first two matches in three sets before bowing out to the unseeded duo of Shuko Aoyama and Chanelle Scheepers, in the pre-quarterfinals in another three set affair. By defending all that she had scored last year, Mirza is assured of not losing points.
In the mixed doubles, she was seeded second with Romanian Horia Tecau, who had earlier won the 2012 Australian Open with Mirza’s former partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In Tecau, Sania seems to have found a good partner. The duo gelled well and came up with good performances in the first two matches. In the end, they lost in the quarterfinals against Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic, the French Open runners-up. It was a very tight affair with the second seeds losing in two straight tie-breakers. Their opponents had four match points in the second set with Mirza and Tecau saving three of them but failed to save the fourth.
Her play was wonderful throughout the tournament. It looked as though she was on song. Mirza has found a very good mixed doubles partner after breaking up with Mahesh Bhupathi and she should surely capitalize on it and try to win a few slams. After all, she is just 26 and we can even expect her to emulate Bhupathi’s feat of completing a career slam in Mixed Doubles.