India’s Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic fought hard but failed to overcome the challenge posed by Russian duo Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in Dubai on Friday. The third-seeded Indo-Czech pair lost 4-6 3-6 to the second-seeded Russians in the semis of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 76 minutes.
After losing the first set, Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova were down 0-5 in the second and there were fears of them receiving a bagel. However, they pulled up their socks and won three games in a row before the Russians found their winning rhythm to seal a straight-sets victory and make the final. They will take on the winners of the other semifinal match between Hao-Ching Chan and Yaroslava Shvedova-Andrea Hlavackova and Shuai Peng.
Earlier, Sania and Barbora had beaten the American-Slovenian combination Abigail Spears and Katarina Srebotnik in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter, exacting revenge for last week’s loss. It was Spears and Srebotnik who had halted Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open last week.
Sania and Barbora joined forces in August last year after the Indian parted ways with Switzerland’s Martina Hingis. The new combination tasted success going on to win in Cincinnati and Tokyo before reaching the finals at Wuhan and the quarterfinals of the US Open.