Indian star player Sania Mirza and her partner Anna Danilina came up with a solid win in their opening round women’s doubles match at the Australian Open on Thursday. The Indo-Kazakh duo scored a 6-2, 7-5 win over Hungary’s Dalma Galfi and American Bernarda Pera on Court 14 at Melbourne Park.
Mirza recently confirmed she will be retiring after the Dubai Open next month,
Mirza’s win though was the only positive of the day for the Indian contingent. The duo of Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni lost in a tough three-setter against 14th seeds Andreas Mies and John Peers 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 3-6. Later, Ramkumar Ramanthan and his Mexican partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela lost in another three-setter to brothers Stefanos and Petros Tsitsipas 6-3, 5-7, 3-6.
The Mirza-Danilina duo made a bright start to their contest, coming up with a break in the third game of the first set before getting a second consecutive break to go up 4-1. The eight seeds held their own from there to take the opening set. In the second set too, Mirza-Danilina found a break in the third game, and were again 4-1 up, only for Pera and Galfi to claw their way back into the set and make it 4-4.
But it was the higher ranked pair that found the decisive break in the set in the 11th game, as Mirza and Danilina went up 6-5 and then held on to book their place in the second round against Alison Van Uytvanck and Anhelina Kalinina.
Earlier on Court 5, wild card entrants Bhambri and Myneni saved two match points in the second set to force Mies and Peers into the deciding set. The Indian pair earned an early break and looked well on their way to a famous win, leading 3-1. But the 14th seeds bounced back strongly and won the next five games on the trot to move to the second round.
Meanwhile on Court 13, the power of Stefanos made the difference as the Tsitsipas brothers came from behind to beat Ramkumar and Reyes-Varela.
The Indo-Mexican team banked on the service break they won off Petros Tsitsipas to take the first set. In the second set, both teams traded breaks early, but the Greek team found a telling break while they led 6-5 to take the second set.
They then broke Reyes-Varela’s serve in the third and held on to win the match.
India’s No 1 men’s doubles player Rohan Bopanna will be in action on Friday, as he and partner Matthew Ebden take on Austrian duo Lucas Miedler adn Alexander Erler. Bopanna is also playing mixed doubles with Mirza.