Good start for Indians at French Open: Bopanna, Paes book second round berths

Paris, May 25: India enjoyed an all-win day at the French Open with Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes advancing to the second round with their respective partners, here on Wednesday.

First to take court was Sania Mirza, who with Martina Hingis, was tested by Russian girls Daria Kasatkina and Alexandra Panova before prevailing 7-6(4) 6-2 in the opening round.

Sania, Bopanna, Paes book second round berths in French Open

Top seeded Sania and Martina -- the reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champions -- have trained eyes on completing their non-calendar Slam by winning the clay court Major.

(French Open: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis enter second round)

Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea, seeded sixth, were dominating in their 6-2 6-2 win over French team of Stephane Robert and Alexandre Sidorenko.

Paes and his Polish teammate Marcin Matkowski, seeded 16th, endured a tough opening round before winning 7-6 (3) 7-6 (8-6) against Belarus' Aliaksandr Bury and Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan.

Earlier, Sania and Martina lost their serve thrice in the match as they battled 12 breakpoints in the contest. They next face the winners of the match between the pairs of Karin Knapp/Mandy Minella and Nao Hibino/Eri Hozumi.

After trading a few breaks, the two pairs were level 5-5 in the opening set. The top seeds had a set point in the 12th game but their fighting rivals stretched it to the tie breaker, which was again a tight affair but Sania and Martina prevailed.

The world number one team broke Kasatkina and Panova in the very first game of the second set but only to be broken back in the next.

However, they broke them one more time and held their own for a 4-2 lead. Another break set them up for serving out the match which they did with ease, at love.

Another Indian in the fray is Purav Raja, who has teamed up with big-serving Croat Iva Karlovic. They are up against ninth seeds Lukas Kubot and Alexander Peya.

In the mixed doubles, Sania has paired with Ivan Dodig and Bopanna will play with Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva. Paes will play with Hingis, with whom he won three Grand Slams in the 2015 season.

They had skipped French Open.


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