Mirza, Bopanna advance at Australian Open 

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Indian tennis players Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna won their opening round matches to advance to the second round at the Australian Open here on Thursday.

The star pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis maintained their incredible winning streak to advance to the women’s doubles second round with a straight sets victory on Show Court 3 at the Melbourne Park.

The Indo-Swiss combination got the better of the Colombian-Brazilian pair of Mariana Duque-Marino and Teliana Pereira 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and eight minutes. The top seeds thus extended their run of successive victories to 31.

Mirza and Hingis will face Ukrainian siblings Nadiia and Lyudmyla Kichenok next. The Ukrainians had defeated the Australian team of Kimberly Birrell and Priscilla Hon 6-4, 6-3 in the first round on Wednesday.

Later in the day, men’s doubles fourth seeds Bopanna with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea ousted the local pairing of Omar Jasika and Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 17 minutes at the Hisense Arena. They will next face the Czech combine of Lukas Dlouhy and Jiri Vesely in the second round on Friday.

Friday will also see veterans Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in action.

Defending champions Paes and Hingis will take on the Russian-British pairing of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dominic Inglot in the mixed doubles opener on Show Court 3.

A little later, Bhupathi with his Luxembourg partner Gilles Muller will be up against former champions and American third seeds Bob and Mike Bryan for a place in the third round.

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