Melbourne, Jan 21: India’s Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopan won their mixed doubles first round matches at the Australian Open tennis tourment here on Saturday. Bopan and his Cadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski battled past New Zealand’s Michael Venus and Slovakian Katari Srebotnik 6-4, 6-7, 10-7 in a super tie-breaker. Second seeded Sania and Croatian Ivan Dodig defeated Germany’s Laura Siegemund and Croatian Mate Pavic 7-5, 6-4. Sania-Dodig needed 85 minutes to conquer their opponent. They won 71 points compared to 62 claimed by Laura-Pavic and converted five of the 17 break points received.
Laura-Pavic converted only three of the 10 break points. Sania-Dodig will next play against the winners of a clash between Chinese-Austria paring of Saisai Zheng and Alexander Peya and Australia’s Sally Peers and John Peers.
Bopan had to endure a tougher battle compared to Sania for his win. They rrowly edged out Venus-Srebotnik, winning five points less in the match. Bopan-Dabrowski maged to win 74 points. But they won the crucial points of the match, converting two of their four break points achieved. Venus-Srebotnik could only mage to win one of their five break points. The difference in conversion of break points decided the fate of the match, which went right down to the wire and had to be decided by a third set tie-breaker.
In the boys’ singles match, Siddhant Bhatia lost in the first round against Australian Alexander Crnokrak 6-2, 6-7, 5-7. But Zeel Desai beat Australia’s Kaitlin Staines 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in her girls’ singles first round match. IANS