Two of India’s top doubles stars - Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna - brought double delight to Indian fans with twin wins at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships in London on Saturday. Mirza and her Belgian partner Kirsten Flipkens, seeded 13th, dropped a set but came storming back to enter the third round with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over the all-British team of Naomi Broady and Heather Watson.
Bopanna and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, meanwhile, continued their winning streak. A month after capturing the French Open mixed doubles title on the other side of the Channel, they started off their Wimbledon campaign on a winning note as they prevailed 7-6(2), 7-5 over the French-Romanian combine of Fabrice Martin and Raluca Olaru for a place in the third round.
Mirza and Flipkens have an uphill task ahead of them for they face the in-form third seeds Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan. The Swiss-Chinese Taipei team has been dominant throughout the season and came into The Championships on the back of winning the Eastbourne title.
Mirza and Flipkens hastily teamed up only in the middle of the grass season after the Indian’s regular partner Yaroslava Shvedova had to opt out due to an impending surgery. Wimbledon is their first tournament together this year.
They finished with 3 aces and 5 double faults and 65% of their first serves in. The Indo-Belgian pair were able to convert three out of their six break points.
The French Open champions Bopanna and Dabrowski were put to a stern test by Martin and Olaru. The tight two-setter saw only one break of serve which went the Indo-Canadian pair’s way in the second set.
The 10th seeds face the winner of the second round contest between the eighth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Hao-Ching Chan and Nikola Mektic/AnaKonjuh.
Zeel Desai blazes into Round 2
India’s 18-year-old Zeel Desai made a thunderous start to her girls’ singles challenge by dropping just two games for a second round berth. The 15th seed thrashed Japan’s Naho Sato, 6-1, 6-1 in just 67 minutes.
Up next for her is Russia’s Marta Paigina.
Still to come on Day 6
Sania Mirza will take the court once again in a late mixed doubles match alongside Croatia’s Ivan Dodig. The two have received the fourth seeding.
Also in action is Purav Raja, who will look for a first round win in partnership with Japan’s Eri Hozumi. The two have split sets 5-7, 6-4 with James Cerretani and Renata Voracava and the match had to be suspended on Friday due to poor light.