Sunday, January 31, 2016

Martina Hingis & Leander Paes out of Aussie Open mixed doubles courtesy of her doubles partner Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza doesn't leave anything to chance. She just goes there and charts her own path. That's exactly what she did when she took her compatriot Leander Paes and Martina Hingis in the mixed doubles quarters of the Australian Open. Teaming up with Croatian Ivan Dodig, she ended the marathon run of Paes and Hingis, who had won the mixed doubles championship last year at Melbourne Park.

Sania and Dodig took exactly one hour and 10 minutes to get the better of Paes and Hingis in a 7-6(1) 6-3 win. The top seeded Indo-Croat pair will next face fifth seeds Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares for a spot in the summit clash.

The Padma Bhushan award winner and Dodig got off to a sluggish start but fought back brilliantly to take the first set in 44 minutes in a one-sided tie-breaker, where the Indo-Croat pair just blew away their opponents. The second set turned out to be much easier for Sania and Dodig as one break of serve was enough for them to walk away with the set and the match.

For Sania, the prospect of two titles in Australian Open looms large as she along with Hingis takes on Czech seventh seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the women's doubles final on Friday to earn their eighth title on the trot. Perhaps, Hingis' loss with Paes opens up the chance for her to save her best game for the women's doubles finale, therein increasing Sania's chances of another Grand Slam title.

This will be Sania's first women's doubles final here after her previous best finish in 2012 when she reached the semis with Russian Elena Vesnina.

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