Saturday, May 28, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza stay on track at French Open

PARIS, France - Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza moved one step closer to the Roland Garros title with a quick-fire second-round win over Nao Hibino and Eri Hozumi.

Bidding to become the first team to hold all four majors simultaneously since Serena and Venus Williams in 2010, Hingis and Mirza are showing no signs of nerves, continuing their serene progress with a 6-2, 6-0 victory.

Hibino and Hozumi occupied the top seeds for just 54 minutes, and on current form it will take something special to stop them. Next in the firing line are Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

Looming beyond that are No.6 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, their projected quarterfinal opponents.

Five years ago, Hlavackova and Hradecka went all the way in Paris, and they are building up a head of steam this time, too. On Friday they put Ukrainian twins Nadiia and Lyudmyla Kichenok to the sword, winning 6-1, 6-3.

In the bottom half there was success for another team to have lifted the trophy, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who eventually saw off Gabriela Dabrowski and María José Martínez Sánchez, 6-2, 7-6(5).

The 2013 champions, seeded No.7 this time, will next face big-serving Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova. Also advancing were the in-form Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson.

Fresh from lifting the title in Nürnberg, Bertens and Larsson sent shockwaves through the draw on Thursday afternoon when they knocked out defending champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in straight sets. They followed this up with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over María Irigoyen and Paula Kania to set up a potential third-round date with the Williams sisters.

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