Saturday turned out to be a great day for the Indian tennis contingent at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships as Sania Mirza notched up wins in both the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles sections while Rohan Bopanna and Purav Raja too emerged victorious in mixed doubles.
Mirza and Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, who are seeded fourth this time, needed 1 hour 18 minutes to see off the Japanese duo of Yusuke Watanuki and Makoto Ninomiya, 7-6(5), 6-2 to enter the third round.
The pair has reached a couple of Grand Slam finals with the most recent one coming at the Australian Open in January. But they are yet to make a breakthrough.
And the path does get tougher from hereon as they next face the defending champions Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson for a spot in the quarter-finals.
The Indo-Croatian combine finished their second round match with 6 aces and 4 double faults. They secured three breaks of serve out of the six chances they got.
Raja completes unfinished business
Purav Raja too joined the list of Indians winning at SW19 on Saturday after carving out a win in his first round mixed doubles match that was suspended on Friday and had to be continued the day after. Raja and Japan’s Eri Hozumi split sets with the American-Czech pair of James Cerretani and Renata Voracava before it had to be stopped.
On resumption, the Indo-Japanese team was flawless on their break point conversion, going 2/2 that gifted them the third set for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win.
They next lock horns with the 11th seeds Daniel Nestor and Andreja Klepac.
Earlier in the day, Mirza and Kirsten Flipkens dropped a set but stormed back to win their second-round women’s doubles match, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 over the all-British team of Naomi Broady and Heather Watson.
The 13th seeds now have an uphill task as the third seeds and Eastbourne champions Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan loom large.
Meanwhile, Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski continue their success in mixed doubles a month after winning the French Open on the other side of the Channel. The tenth seeded Indo-Canadian duo eked out a tight 7-6(2), 7-5 victory over the French-Romanian combine of Fabrice Martin and Raluca Olaru for a place in the third round.
There was happy news for Indian fans in the juniors section too where the 15th seeded Zeel Desai dominated her first round girls’ singles match for a 6-1, 6-1 win over Japan’s Naho Sato.