World No. 1 women’s doubles player Sania Mirza bowed out of the US Open women’s doubles quarter-finals in New York on Tuesday as the campaign of India’s top stars ends at the season’s final Slam. Seventh seeds Mirza and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic led 5-2 in the first set and even held two set points against the top seeds and reigning top seeds and reigning French Open champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.
But they could not hold on to their early advantage as the French pair made a stunning comeback to win the match, 7-6(3), 6-1 in 1 hour 9 minutes.
Mirza and Strycova had won the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in the weeks leading up to the US Open and had brought that confidence to the Slam. Through their first three rounds, they did not even drop a set.
On Tuesday, they were clearly the better pair at the start of the quarter-final contest against Mladenovic and Garcia. Mirza’s rocket forehands combined well with her Czech partner’s deft volleys and in no time, they raced to a 5-2 lead with a break of serve.
As the French girls struggled to contain their errors, the seventh seeds were presented with two set points on Mladenovic’s serve at 2-5. The top seeds, however, managed to save them both and that was the jolt they needed to find their best form.
They went on a rampage, winning 9 of the next 10 games as they completely steamrolled the Indo-Czech pair.
After losing the opening set in a tie-break, Mirza and Strycova were never the same players again. Looking absolutely clueless, they quickly went down 0-5 after conceding two breaks of serve. The seventh seeds finally stopped the rot in the sixth game of the second set and finally got on the board.
Mirza and Strycova even held two set points against the top seeds and reigning top seeds and reigning French Open champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.
It was a matter of time before the French Open champions marched into the last-four.
With this, the Indian challenge of the top stars gets over as Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna had already departed from Flushing Meadows.
Yadlapalli the only Indian remaining at the 2016 US Open
17-year-old Pranjala Yadlapalli now remains the only Indian to be still in contention in any event at the 2016 US Open. She has reached the second round of the girls’ singles draw where she is scheduled to face the 16th seed Alexandra Sanford.Published 07 Sep 2016, 01:41 IST