Melbourne: Leander Paes and Sania Mirza made Indian tennis fans proud on the 67th Republic Day, winning their respective second round matches at the Australian Open here on Tuesday.
Top seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig shook off the challenge of Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5, 6-2 in mixed doubles in 1 hour and eight minutes. The Indo-Croatian pair claimed the first set, resisting some stiff contest, in 38 minutes.
They broke the Pakistani-Kazakh pair twice in the first set, receiving five break point chances, and were broken once in two attempts. In the second set, however, they were far more at ease, breaking their opponents twice in six attempts and not getting broken once, needing only 30 minutes to seize it.
Sania-Dodig hit fewer winners (23 to 27) but committed lesser unforced errors (16 to 20) to eventually win 65 of the total 115 points played to advance. The experienced mixed doubles pair of Paes and Martina Hingis were far more comfortable in their 6-1, 6-2 victory over Jean-Julien Rojer and Sloane Stephens in 50 minutes.
The Indo-Swiss pair took just 21 minutes to pocket the first set, converting five of the eight break points received. They were not under any duress throughout the match and easily broke their Dutch-Amercian pair’s serve. In the second set, Paes-Hingis won three of the six break points received to win the set in 29 minutes. They hit an overall 18 winners and just 5 unforced errors, winning 51 of the total 85 points played at the Margaret Court Arena.