Sania Mirza and partner Ivan Dodig, the second seeds, fought off a stiff challenge from the unseeded pair of Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada, winning the match in tie-break to enter the mixed doubles quarterfinals of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Sania Mirza and Dodig won the match 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 in one hour and seven minutes. The Indo-Croatian pair could end up playing Leander Paes and Martina Hingis in their semifinals. Paes and Hingis will play their quarterfiinal match against Aussies Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth on Thursday.
It was an interesting match on Show Court 2 Wednesday where the two Indians, who represented the country in mixed doubles at the 2016 Olympics, took on each other. At the Rio Games, Sania-Bopanna finished fourth, losing the bronze medal play-off tie.
It was a close match, with both the pairs matching each other stroke by stroke, especially during the tie-break. Bopanna and Dabrowski, in fact, hit the most winners in the match, 32 in total compared to 19 by Sania and Dodig.
However, Sania and Dodig’s experience together came in handly as they won points at crucial junctures to seal the match and progress to the semifinals.
Sania and Dodig had defeated Alexander Peya and Zheng Saisai 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 on Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals, while Bopanna and Dabrowski mounted a great fight back to win against Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan to win 6-4, 5-7, 10-3 and set up the quarterfinal clash.