Rome Masters: Sania-Hingis, Bopanna-Mergea ease into quarters

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Rome Masters: Sania-Hingis, Bopanna-Mergea ease into quarters

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Arun S Kaimal


World #1 women’s doubles team of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis sailed into the quarters of the Italian Open, beating the unseeded pairing of Su-Wei Hsieh and Oksana Kalashnikova in straight sets. The top seeds looked in good touch and made easy work of their unseeded opponents, winning in an hour.

The first set was a tight affair with both teams finding it difficult to defend their serve, and conceding breaks for fun. But it was the Indo-Swiss pair that held their nerve the longest, and broke their rivals three times before wrapping up the first set, one in which they had won only 64% of their first serves, 6-3.

The second set saw the top seeds fare much better on serve, not facing a single break on serve, and complementing the same with good return games as well. Winning a solid 42% first return points, “Santina” broke the opponents’ serve twice to stroll to a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win.

Sania-Hingis have hit a mini-bump of late, losing consecutive finals at Madrid and Stuttgart, and are yet to win a title since their triumph at the St Petersburg Open. The duo will next face the winners of the Raquel Atawo-Abigail Spears and Julia Goerges-Karolina Pliskova.

Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea was also in action in the men's doubles at Rome on Wednesday, and the sixth-seeded pair came back from a set down to win the second round match. Facing the unseeded duo of Benoit Paire and Joao Sousa, the sixth seeds had to work hard for their win. The first set was settled in a tie-break, which was won by Paire-Sousa 7-5. Bopanna-Mergea came back strong to take the next set 6-4 with an extra break as the match headed into a decider. In what was a see-saw affair, the Indo-Romanian pair held their nerves to see off their opponents and walk into the quarters with a 6-7, 6-4, 10-8 win. They will next face the winners of the clash between Phillipe Kohlschreiber-Vicktor Troicki and Ivan Dodig-Marcelo Melo.

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