Sania Mirza-Monica Niculescu win Connecticut Open; Heartbreak for Paes-Begemann in Winston-Salem Open

Sania Mirza-Monica Niculescu win Connecticut Open; Heartbreak for Paes-Begemann in Winston-Salem Open

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After winning the Cincinnati Open last week with Barbora Strycova, World No.1 Sania Mirza added another trophy to her cabinet, this time, winning the Connecticut Open along with Monica Niculescu. But, there was no such joy for Leander Paes and Andre Begemann, who lost the Winston-Salem Open final.

After splitting up with Martina Hingis two weeks back, Sania Mirza became the lone holder of the World No.1 spot in women’s doubles on Sunday after winning the Cincinnati Open along with her partner Barbora Strycova. Sania and Strycova had defeated Hingis and Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-4 to win the title.

Continuing her preparations for the upcoming US Open, Sania joined hands with Monica Niculescu of Romania for the Connecticut Open tennis tournament in New Haven, USA. The second seeds started the tournament with an easy 6-0, 6-3 win over the American wildcard team of Louisa Chirico and Alison Riske. Then they took on Darija Jurak of Croatia and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia in the quarters, and defeated them 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semis. In the semis, Mirza and her partner faced the Serbian pair of Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik, and beat them 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 to enter the final.

In the final, the Indo-Romanian duo took on the unseeded pair of Kateryna Bondarenko and Chuang Chia-Jung and defeated them in straight-sets to lift the trophy. Both pairs broke each other early in the first set, but Mirza and Niculescu took a lead by winning the eighth game to make it 5-3. However, Kateryna Bondarenko and Chuang Chia-Jung once again bounced back and made it 5-5 in the set. But, the break of serves continued as the second seeds took the first set 7-5.

The second set proved to be a much easier affair for the Indo-Romanian pair, and they won it 6-4 to seal the title. This was Mirza’s 39th WTA doubles title, and her seventh one of this year. After the win, Mirza confirmed that her partnership with Niculescu was just for the Connecticut Open, and she will be back alongside Barbora Strycova for the US Open.

"I play with Barbora Strycova," Mirza assured, reported

However, there was heartbreak of Leander Paes in the Winston-Salem Open final. Paes and his German partner Andre Begemann had reached the last four after defeating Łukasz Kubot and Nenad Zimonjić 6-4, 6-4. In the semis, the Indo-German pair defeated third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in a thrilling encounter to set up a title decider against unseeded pair of Guillermo García-López and Henri Kontinen.

The third seeds looked on course for the title in the opening set and easily won it 6-4. In the second set, Guillermo García-López and Henri Kontinen showed a lot of fight, and took the set to a tie-break at 6-6. However, the Indo-German pair took a 6-1 lead in the tie-breaker and had five match points in the bag. But, they failed to seal the match and wasted all the match point opportunities to give the unseeded pair a way back into the match. With the momentum on their side, Lopez and Kontinen won the super tie-breaker 10-8 to win the Winston-Salem Open title.

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