Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig failed to clinch their maiden Grand Slam title as the Indo-Croatian pair lost 2-6, 4-6 to Juan Sebastian Cabal and Abigail Spears at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. (HIGHLIGHTS)
It was a pretty shaky start from the Indo-Croatian pair as they lost out on both their initial serves to trail 0-4 at one point in the first set. With two breaks down, they couldn’t manage to earn a comeback in the set as by the time they found some rhythm and managed to hold on to their next two serves, it was way too late. The unseeded American-Colombian pair took the set in just 26 minutes to take the lead.
In the second set however, it was an inspiring start from both Dodig and Sania as they earned the break early on in the second game and held on to their serves well. It was an inspiring display of class and commitment from the Indo-Croatian pair but once Sania failed to hold on to her serve in the seventh game, the second seeded pair lost the momentum and lost five consecutive games on the trot..
Dodig was far from his best in the match and had a forgettable day with his serves. He served two double faults; the second one coming on the break in the ninth game to allow Cabal to serve for the championship. The Indo-Croatian pair in fact had just a 32 per cent winning rate on the second serve. They committed 16 unforced errors in comparison to just nine from the unseeded pair and had five double faults to their name. They could also manage to convert just one break point out of three in the match.
After pairing up last season, this was the second Grand Slam final for Sania and Dodig who had lost the French Open to Martina Hingis and Leander Paes last year. While this would have been a fourth mixed doubles trophy for the Indian tennis ace, Dodig was eyeing for his maiden title. “I would like to thank my partner (Sania) for the great week. We played another final and I hope to we go one more step next time,” Dodig said at the post-match ceremony.
This was the fifth appearance in the Australian Open final for Sania Mirza. She had won the women’s doubles last year with Martina Hingis and the mixed doubles in 2009 with Mahesh Bhupathi. She ended up being the runner-up in 2008 with Bhupathi and in 2014 with Horia Tecau.