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Sania, Paes, Bopanna advance in French Open

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Paris: The prolific Indo-Swiss pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis put on a stupendous display of tennis to blow away Japanese duo of Nao Hibino and Eri Hozumi in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 in the second round of the women’s doubles in the French Open here on Friday.

The duo raced to a 4-1 lead in no time, leaving the rival team no choice but to play catch up in the opener. The Japanese pair then grabbed a game but failed to upset their rhythm and they finally pocketed the set 6-2 in Court 1.

Sania and Martina continued their momentum and broke the opponents again in the second set bagging a 2-0 lead. And just when one thought the Hibino and Hozumi would make a comeback, the Indo-Swiss pair lifted their game up a few notches and won the next three games grabbing a 5-0 lead.

Though the Japanese pair started well in the last game, Sania and Martina remained calm and sealed the issue with a 6-2, 6-0 scoreline.

Earlier, India’s top men’s doubles stars Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna won their respective second-round matches.

Sixth seeds Bopanna and Florin Mergea won their second-round men’s doubles French Open match, beating French pair Gregoire Barrere and Quentin Halys 6-3, 6-4 here on Friday, while sixteenth seeds Paes and Marcin Matkowski later produced another dominating performance to earn a 6-4, 6-3 win in their second-round match against Julian Knowle and Florian Mayer.

Bopanna-Mergea took a big headstart in the first set, jumping to a 4-1 lead. They maintained their dominance to reach 5-2 and were in total control as they claimed the first set 6-3 on Court 6.

The Indo-Romanian pair maintained ascendancy, breaking their opponents’ first service game to quickly jump 2-0 up. But they were pegged back with the French pair breaking back immediately to 2-2.

Bopanna-Mergea converted three of the eight break points received in the second set to ultimately claim the second set 6-4.

They won 67 of the total 121 points played, committing seven unforced errors as compared to 2 by their opponents.

But conversion of break points turned crucial as Bopanna-Mergea won four of nine break points opposed to just two of four by Barrere-Halys.

Bopanna-Mergea outclassed Frenchmen Stephane Robert and Alexandre Sidorenko 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.

Later, Paes-Matkowski produced another dominating performance to earn a comfortable victory.

Paes-Matkowski faced a break point in their second service game and were promptly broken to trail 1-3 in the first set at Court 14.

The Indo-Polish duo were unable to break back immediately and trailed 2-4 against the Austria-German duo.

But they broke the opponents’ fourth service game to restore parity 4-4.

Paes-Matkowski utilised their experience and remained composed to win the key points to snatch a 6-4 win in the first set.

And they repeated that act in the second set, breaking ahead at a crucial stage of the game to serve out the second set 6-3.

Paes-Matkowski won 63 of the 105 total points played, hit 2 winners to none from their opponents and converted three of the four break points received.

—IANS

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