India's biggest medal hopes, and now the only hopes, in tennis - Sania Mirza and Leander Paes - made an encouraging start as they motored past Nenad Zimonjic and Ana Ivanovic in the mixed doubles opener on Thursday.
Leander Paes's never-say-die attitude keeps him going even at 39. He lasted the distance at this year’s mixed doubles event at the Wimbledon and earlier this year, won the doubles event at the Australian Open to complete a career Grand Slam. With the Olympics just over a fortnight away, India will hope that he carries the good form to the Games. Getty Images
The Indian duo took only an hour and four minutes to pack off the
Serbs 6-2 6-4.
Fired up after a close defeat to French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra in the men's doubles second round on Wednesday night, Paes took command at the net and let those quick hands script all the moves.
Paes-Sania survived some big serving from their opponents, who sent down seven aces, even as they created nine break point opportunities. They converted four of those to cruise to victory.
The Indian duo though face a tough ask in the second round, as they are scheduled to take on top seeds Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus.