Sania wins both matches at Australian Open

Melbourne, Jan 22 (IANS) It was the perfect day for Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who won both her women’s and mixed doubles matches to progress at the Australian Open here on Saturday.

Playing on Show Court 2, women’s doubles top seeds Sania and Martina Hingis needed only an hour and three minutes to beat Ukrainian sisters Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok 6-2, 6-3 to enter the third round at Melbourne Park.

The Indo-Swiss combine was easily the better team, racing away to take the first set in only 23 minutes. Overall, Sania and Martina broke their unseeded opponents four times out of the seven opportunities they got.

In reply, Lyudmyla and Nadiia could convert only one breakpoint during the entire second round encounter. Also, the Ukrainian girls committed 22 unforced errors, twice more than that of their opponents. To add to that, they double faulted four times, handing crucial points to Sania and Martina.

The top seeds will next take on Russian-Italian combination of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Roberta Vinci for a place in the quarterfinals.

Later in the day, Sania returned to play her mixed doubles opening match with Croatian partner Ivan Dodig on the same court. The top seeds again had a straight sets victory, beating local pair of Ajla Tomljanovic and Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-1 in 59 minutes.

This time too, Sania’s team proved far better than the Australian pair. Sania and Ivan earned as many as 14 breakpoint chances, though converting only four. But that was more than enough to seal the match in only two sets. In addition, they also hit 34 winners, double that of Ajla and Nick!

In comparison, the local team could win only one breakpoint out of the five chances they got. Also, three double faults during the match did not help their cause.

Sania and Ivan will take on Kazakh-Pakistani pairing of Yaroslava Shvedova and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in the second round.

In juniors action, India’s Karman Kaur Thandi defeated Australian Olivia Gadecki 6-3, 6-4 on Court 10 in her opening girls’ singles match and will face Hungarian Panna Udvardy next.

In the same category, Karman’s compatriot Pranjala Yadlapalli, seeded 10th, defeated Japan’s Mayuka Aikawa 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 on Court 5 to move into the second round.

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