Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza made a shock exit from the women’s doubles competition while compatriots Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna entered the men’s doubles quarter-finals along with their respective partners in the French Open in Paris on Sunday.
Sania and Martina Hingis of Switzerland, seeded number one in the women’s doubles, lost to unseeded Czech Republic duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 3-6 2-6 in a third round match.
Earlier in the day, the sixth seeded Indo-Romanian pair of Bopanna and Florin Mergea defeated Marcus Daniell and Brian Baker 6-2 6-7 (4) 6-1, while 16th seeds Paes and Marcin Matkowski stunned fourth seeded combination of Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4).
But, Bopanna and his partner Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia crashed out of the mixed doubles competition with a 6-2 3-6 8-10 loss at the hands of top seeded combine of Hao-Ching Chan of Chinese Taipei and Jamie Murray of Great Britain in a second round match.
In the women’s doubles, Sania and Hingis, who were coming into the Grand Slam tournament after their Australian Open triumph earlier this year, were rusty against their unseeded Czech rivals and could not hold their serve five times in the match, including four in the second set.
Sania and Hingis gave away a break point to their opponents to lose the first set 3-6. They also began the second set on a poor note as they failed to hold their first two serves to trail 0-4.
The Indo-Swiss pair fought back by breaking their opponents’ serve in the fifth game to make it 1-4 but again failed to hold onto their own in the next game to trail 1-5.
The Czech combo served for the match but Sania and Hingis were yet to throw in the rowel and broke their opponents’ serve to make it 2-5.
But their was not be any further fightback from the Indo-Swiss duo as they yet again failed to hold onto their serve and lost the second set 2-6 to end the match in disappointment.
With Sunday’s loss, Sania and Hingis failed to realise their hopes of winning four Grand Slam titles on the trot.
They had won Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles in 2015 and the Australian Open in 2016, the season’s first Grand Slam in January.
Bopanna and Mergea, on the other hand, did not lose serve even once as they won against the unseeded New Zealand-American duo.
The opening set was a stroll for the sixth seeds, who broke their rivals twice and held serve effortlessly to grab the initial edge.
However, Daniell and Baker clawed back in the second set by saving three break points and drastically improving their first serve.
The set finally moved into a tie-break, which Daniell and Baker won to draw level in the match.
But the fightback did not last in the third set as Bopanna and Mergea broke them twice and returned rather well to emerge triumphant.
Bopanna and Mergea will next face the winners of the match between third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo and Chris Guccione and Andre Sa.
In another match, Paes and his Polish partner converted one break chance that they got in the opening set, while Soares and Murray could make use of just one of the five breakpoints that they got.
The set eventually went into a tie-break, which the Indo-Polish pair clinched to take an upper hand.
The second set also went into the tie-break, where Paes and Matkowski managed to held on to their nerves to wrap up the match in style.
The Indo-Polish combo will next take on the formidable Bryan Brothers — Bob and Mike.