Saturday, January 28, 2017

Martina Hingis & Leander Paes fall in mixed doubles quarter-finals at Aussie Open

India's Leander Paes and his Swiss partner Martina Hingis lost their mixed doubles quarterfinal at the Australian Open on Thursday, missing out on a semifinal clash against Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig.

Paes and Hingis lost to Australia's Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth 3-6, 2-6 in 55 minutes.

The first set proceeded on serve for the first four games. In the fifth game, the Indo-Swiss duo went down 0-30 on Paes' serve, following which a backhand sent long by the Indian after a net cord gave double break point to the Australians, who converted on the first opportunity with a forced backhand volley error from Hingis/Paes.

Three consecutive service holds followed before Paes served to stay in the set at 3-5. A netted volley by Hingis at 40-30 set up deciding point, which was also a set point for the Australians. Paes got in a good serve but chose to leave Groth's backhand return, which dropped just inside the baseline to seal the set for the Australians. Stosur/Groth converted both their break points and won 27 points in the set to 22 for Hingis/Paes, who couldn't convert the only break point they had.

Stosur and Groth broke Hingis' serve in the fourth game of the second set, a down-the-line forehand winner from Stosur at 15-30 giving the Australians two break points, the first of which was converted with a volley winner from Stosur for a 3-1 lead.

Groth, the owner of the world's fastest recorded serve, threw down three aces to consolidate the break for 4-1. Two straight holds later, Hingis was serving to keep her team in the match. However, a couple of errors from Hingis/Paes set up three match points for Stosur/Groth. The Indo-Swiss team forced a volley error to save the first, but a forehand winner from the Australians on the next match point sealed their win. Stosur and Groth dominated the second set, winning 29 points to 15 for Hingis/Paes, and converting two out of five break points while not facing a single break point on their serve.

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