Sania Mirza’s run in the women’s doubles event at the Australian Open ended on Sunday after she and her Kazakh partner Anna Danilina were beaten in three sets by the team of Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina and Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium.
The match on Court 7 lasted just over two hours, seeing the eight seeded pair lose 4-6, 6-4, 2-6.
Earlier in the day, the only men’s doubles team to make it to the second round also lost out. The all-French team of Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin came up with a 6-4, 6-4 win over N Sriam Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who were alternates at the event.
Mirza-Danilina almost had a perfect start as they challenged the Van Uytvanck serve in the first game of the match. The game lasted 11 minutes and saw five break point opportunities, but none were converted as the Belgian managed to hold serve.
Both teams held serve in the first set until the 10th game when Mirza was broken while serving at 4-5 to give the opponents the first set.
The eight seeds were dealt a scare at the start of the second set when Kalinina and Van Uytvanck raced to a 3-0 lead, only for Mirza and Danilina to come storming back by winning the next five games on the trot. The set ended with Danilina serving out the 10th game, at 5-4, for love to level proceedings.
The Belgian-Ukrainin pair again came up with a quick start in the third set, breaking Mirza’s serve to race to a 3-0 lead. The higher ranked team though did hit back with a break of their own to trail 2-3, only for Kalinina and Van Uytvanck to win the next three games and secure a spot in the third round.
This was the last time Mirza would appear in a women’s doubles event at a Grand Slam, as the six-time Major winner had announced that she will be retiring after the Dubai Open next month.
She is however, still active at the Australian Open, and will team up with Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles event. They will play their second round match against the winner of the tie between Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Matwe Middelkoop, and Makoto Ninomiya/Ariel Behar.
In the men’s doubles match, two breaks of serve (the only two in the entire match) was enough to decide the outcome. Balaji’s serve was broke in the fifth game of the first set.
In the second set, the break came on Jeevan serve at the most crucial moment, at 4-4, to give Martin the chance to serve for the match. He did that to love in a match that lasted an hour and 16 minutes.