23 Jan :Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi cleared the first round hurdle in mixed doubles while Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna advanced in men’s doubles as India rounded off an all-win day at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Friday.
The unseeded Sania-Bhupathi pair stunned sixth seeds Kveta Peschke and Pavel Vizner of Czech Republic 6-2 6-4 to set up a clash with local favourites Anastasia Rodionova and Stephen Huss, who defeated compatriots Jessica Moore and Carsten Ball 7-5 7-5.
In men’s doubles, fourth seeds Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy sailed past unseeded Italian-Croat pairing of Fabio Fognini and Ivan Ljubcic 6-3 6-4 in the second round.
In the third round, the Indo-Czech duo will be up against the winners of the match between the 14th seeded Czech-Slovak pair of Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak and locals Paul Hanley and Jordan Kerr.
Sania, who has crashed out of the singles and women’s doubles events, was the star of the show today with her net play.Sania and Bhupathi, who had no trouble in pocketing the first set in 27 minutes, were given a tough fight by Peschke and Vizner in the second.
The Indians trailed 0-4 before reeling off six games on the trot to seal the issue after battling for over 40 minutes in the second set.However, it was smooth sailing for Paes and Dlouhy as they wrapped up the match in mere 62 minutes, breaking their rivals four times in the process.
Earlier, Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna and his Finnish partner Jarko Nieminin advanced to the second round of the men’s doubles round, defeating the Spanish pair of Marcel Granollers and Sanitago Ventura 3-6 6-4 6-1.
It took Bopanna and Nieminin one hour and 13 minutes to dump their opponents.The Indo-Finnish pair will next face Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador and Tommy Robredo of Spain in the second round.