Sania Mirza and Mate Pavic, a combination of former world No 1s in doubles, on Monday reached the mixed doubles semifinals at Wimbledon.
Pavic, who won the men’s doubles Tokyo Olympics gold medal last year, and Mirza are seeded sixth and they got the better of fourth seeds John Peers and Gabriela Dadrowski in a match of very fine margins. The Indo-Croatian combination won 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in 101 minutes.
This will be Mirza’s first major semifinal since US Open 2017 and the first ever mixed doubles semifinal at Wimbledon.
There was just one break of serve in each set as the four experienced doubles players put on a thrilling show. Pavic’s serving and presence at the net was crucial as the sixth seeds won the first set. Mirza, who had success with groundstrokes including her booming signature forehand, dropped serve once in the second set and that was enough to force the decider.
Her serve came under pressure again in the decider, but every time the fourth seeds got an opening, she held her nerve and closed things out. The most important hold came at 5-5. And then Canadian Dabrowski, who was sensational throughout the match, was under pressure to hold serve to force a match tiebreak. That is when Pavic and Mirza brought out the big guns. With some huge returns, in that game, they won the match and reached the final four.
Mirza, who has said that she is set for retirement at the end of the season, has never won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title while she has won the other three Majors.
The Mirza-Pavic duo has played just one match prior to the quarterfinal on Monday.
But they had to work hard in that opening round match against the scratch pair of Spain’s David Vega Hernandez and Georgian Natela Dzalamidze.
The sixth seeds eventually needed a super tie-break to decide the result, but did well in the ‘breaker, sealing the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-3).
They got a walkover in the second round, where they were to face Chinese Taipei’s Latisha Chan and Croatian Ivan Dodig.
The last time Mirza won a Grand Slam was at the 2016 Australian Open, when she paired up with Martina Hingis to win the doubles title. Her only Wimbledon title came in the 2015 edition, again with Hingis.