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Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodig duo enters Australian Open mixed doubles final in style

Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodig entered the final of the Australian Open mixed doubles event after defeating Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth of Australia in a tough semifinal encounter

tennis Updated: Jan 27, 2017 23:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Sania Mirza,Australian Open,Ivan Dodig
Sania Mirza, left, and partner Ivan Dodig of Croatia chat during their mixed doubles semifinal against Australians Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne on Friday. (AP)

Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig sailed into the final of the mixed doubles at the Australian Open 2017on Friday as they edged past the Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth 6-4, 2-6, (10-5).

Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig will now face American-Colombian duo Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal in Sunday’s final. Spears and Cabal defeated Chris Guccione and Elina Svitolina 7-6(1), 6-2 in the other semifinal.

At the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. it was a dominant start from the second-seeded Indo-Croatian pair as they broke their opponents in the very first game of the match to go 1-0 up but then failed to hold on to their serve to square things back at 1-1. (Rafael Nadal vs Grigor Dimitrov Australian Open semis live)

Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodig almost earned the break once again in the next game but Samatha Stosur-Sam Groth won the decider to lead 2-1. Sania and Groth then held on to their respective serves before Dodig was broken yet again in the sixth game as the Australian duo led 4-2.

It was then that the Indo-Croatian pair hit top gear and broke the Aussies twice, before holding on to their individual serves, to win four consecutive games and take the first set. Dodig, who had been broken twice already, slammed an ace down the tee and the pair wrapped up the first set in just 34 minutes.

Groth looked a bit dodgy before the start of the second set as he availed the medical timeout and received treatment on his neck. However, much to the delight of the Australian crowd, he and Stosur stormed back in the match with a dominant show as Sania was twice broken on her serve.

Trailing 2-5 in the second set, Sania Mirza did manage to pull things back on her serve from 0-40 down to deuce, but followed it up with a double fault to gift away the set in just 31 minutes. The Australian pair had earned five break points in the second set while Sania-Dodig failed to earn any.

In the final set tie-break, Groth-Stosur were trailing 3-4 when Groth lost both the points on his serve and Mirza-Dodig took full advantage to open up a five-point gap. Both the pairs won a point each on Stosur’s next serve but the Australian duo failed to close the deficit.

Sania Mirza (left) celebrates with Ivan Dodig (second left) of Croatia after winning their mixed doubles' semifinal against Australia's Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth in Melbourne on Friday. ( AP )

Sania Mirza then won the match with her second serve as the pair wrapped up the match in an hour and 18 minutes to reach a Grand Slam final for the second time. They had reached the summit at the French Open last year but lost to Leander Paes and Martina Hingis, the pair ousted by Stosur and Groth in the previous round. Both the pairs had slammed four aces in the match but Stosur-Groth had 10 double faults to their name while the second seeds had six.

Sania Mirza was the lone Indian remaining in the contest after Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski had bowed out to the Indo-Croatian pair in the quarterfinal.

First Published: Jan 27, 2017 11:17 IST