French Open 2016 | Mirza-Dodig battle into mixed doubles semis

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French Open 2016 | Mirza-Dodig battle into mixed doubles semis

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Arun S Kaimal

06/02/2016

Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, seeded second in the event, displayed a determined performance to enter the semi-final of the French Open in the mixed doubles event on Thursday. The Indo-Croatian pair knocked out seventh seeds Yung-Jan Chan and Max Mirnyi 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 to advance to the last 4.

After winning a nail-biting encounter in the third round against Alize Cornet and Jonathan Eysseric, Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig once again went through a pulsating encounter in the quarters. It looked all too easy for the second seeds in the opening set as they eased past Yung-Jan Chan and Max Mirnyi to win it 6-1. The Indo-Croatian pair broke through the pair from Chinese Taipei and Belarus in the second and fourth game, and had a 5-0 lead before their rivals registered their first game on the board. With the power of Mirza and Dodig causing all sorts of problems for the seventh seeds, the match looked headed for a one-sided finish before Yung-Jan Chan and Max Mirnyi bounced back.

The second set was a totally different ball game with the seventh seeds breaking through Mirza and Dodig in the second game. By the third game, Yung-Jan Chan and Max Mirnyi had a 3-0 lead, and it was Mirza and Dodig, who were now facing the uphill battle. A couple of unforced errors and double faults added to the misery of the second seeds as Yung-Jan Chan and Max Mirnyi ran away with the set to win it 6-3.

With both pairs winning one set each, the match went into a tie-breaking third set to decide the winner. Both pairs surrendered their respective serves till the seventh point as no one looked interested in winning the game. With Mirza and Dodig breaking the serve of the seventh seeds four times, they held the upper hand just by a solitary point. With the last four place just points away, the second seeds upped their game and held on to their serves from there on to script a memorable victory. A 10-6 win in the third set confirmed Mirza and Dodig’s place in the last four, and having lost their semi-final match in the Australian Open, they will be hoping for a different result this time around.

Mirza and Dodig will next face third seeds and local favourites Kristina Mladenovic and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semi-final.  

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