India makes a super start as tennis makes debut at CWG
India put up a dominant show on the debut day of tennis at the Commonwealth Games as all three singles players recorded easy wins and star pair of Leander Paes and Sania Mirza also began their quest for gold by storming into the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles. See specialindia Updated: Oct 04, 2010 21:13 IST
India put up a dominant show on the debut day of tennis at the Commonwealth Games as all three singles players recorded easy wins and star pair of Leander Paes and Sania Mirza also began their quest for gold by storming into the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles.
Top seeds Leander and Sania rounded off the day for India in splendid fashion as they trampled the poor St Lucia combination of Stacey Nykita Roheman and Alberton Richelieu 6-1 6-0 in just 39 minutes.
Before that Rohan Bopanna, Rushmi Chakravarthi and Poojashree Venkatesh scored dominant victories in the singles against their weak opponents.
The only blot on India's otherwise perfect day was 3-6 6-3 3-6 defeat of Bopanna and Nirupama Sanjeev against the top seeded Australian pair of Paul Hanley and Anastasia Rodionova in the mixed doubles first round.
Bopanna had opened India's account with an effortless 6-1, 6-4 win over Uganda's Rober Buyinza in the first round of the men's singles while Chakravarthi demolished Lesotho's Pinki Agnes Montlha 6-0, 6-1 in the women'singles.
Young Poojashree Venkatesh booked a second round berth with a 6-0 6-0 annihilation of Lesotho's Nthabiseng Eunicia Nqosa in just 40 minutes.
While the morning session was a quiet affair, the evening session when Paes and Sania got into action, the Centre Court at R K Khanna Tennis stadium was full of life and energy.
Lee-Sania literally toyed with their rivals and the crowd cheered every point of their favourite team. The chair umpire had to request for silence for a number of times but India-favoured slogans kept coming.
The only game the St Lucia players won was off Riheliu Alberton' serve in first game of the match.
Earlier, Nirupama and Bopanna did raise the hopes of an upset by clinching the second set after losing the opening set but could not continue with the momentum.
An early break of Bopanna's serve in the decisive set handed the Australians 3-0 lead and although the Indians kept coming hard at their much-fancied opponents, the top seeded pair got points at crucial junctures to ensure they do not become a first day casualty.
Bopanna and Nirupama made a stunning comeback from a set down.
They put up a spirited show under pressure, creating a big 5-0 lead by breaking both Hanley and Rodionova early in the second set.
Hanley prevented a whitewash by holding his serve in the sixth game. A smashing overhead volley by Rodionova earned the Australians their first break off Nirupama's serve but Bopanna drew parity by holding the ninth game.
First Published: Oct 04, 2010 20:12 IST