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Sania Mirza-Barbora Strycova set to start Australian Open tennis campaign

Sania Mirza won the Brisbane International with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to start 2017 on a high. Sania will hope to take the momentum forward at the Australian Open tennis tournament alongwith Barbora Strycova .

tennis Updated: Jan 17, 2017 23:45 IST
sania mirza,sania mirza-barbora strycova,australian open
Sania Mirza of India (left) and Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic celebrate after winning the women's doubles final at the Toray Pan Pacific Open on September 24, 2016 in Tokyo. (Getty Images)

Sania Mirza will start her Australian Open women’s doubles title defence when the world No. 2 and her partner Barbora Strycova face the British duo of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith in Melbourne on Wednesday. (Read: Nadal on fire)

Sania Mirza won the Brisbane International with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to start the 2017 season on a high and although she finished runners up at Sydney, it was a good opportunity for her to practice with regular partner Barbora Strycova.

Sania Mirza (R) of India and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US talk between points against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in their women's doubles final match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament on January 7, 2017. (AFP)

Now, Sania Mirza will be looking to clinch her second consecutive Australian Open women’s doubles title after winning the crown last year with Martina Hingis.

Sania Mirza decided to team up with Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova in the latter half of 2016 and the impact was almost instantaneous.

The pair won the Cincinnati Open title in September and they followed it up with a brilliant display in the Wuhan Open where they narrowly missed out on the title after falling to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in the final.

Martina Hingis (left) and Sania Mirza kiss their trophy after defeating Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the women's doubles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne on Jan. 29, 2016. (AP)

The Australian Open has been a happy hunting ground for Sania Mirza as she has tasted success in both doubles and mixed doubles categories.

However, she will be taking the field with a new partner (Barbora Strycova) this time and it will be necessary for the duo to maintain the dominance that they have shown in the run-up to the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.

Rohan Bopanna starts too

Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas will also start his campaign on Wednesday when they take on the team of Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) and Maximo Gonzalez (Argentina).

Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won the Chennai Open on January 8, 2017. (PTI)

Bopanna showed great form at the 2017 Chennai Open where he clinched the men’s doubles title with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.

However, the Indian tennis star, along with Florin Mergea, could only manage to reach the third round in the competition last year and this time, he will surely be hoping that a change in partner will result in a change in fortunes.

First Published: Jan 17, 2017 21:21 IST