Sania-Ivan knock out Paes-Hingis to enter Australian Open semi-finals

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Melbourne, Jan 28: The top seeded tennis pair of Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig totally outclassed defending champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis to march into the mixed doubles semi-finals of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park here on Thursday (January 28).

Mirza and Dodig took just an hour and 13 minutes to completely outplay the Indo-Swiss pair of Paes and Hingis 7-6 (1), 6-3 on Show Court 3. Mirza, who last won the title here in 2009 with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, is already in the women's doubles final with Hingis while Paes is her former partner.

A file picture of Sania Mirza

The Indo-Croat pairing will next take on Russian-Brazilian fifth seeds Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares for a place in the final.

The first set was evenly contested with both pairs breaking the each other once. The number of total points won, winners and unforced errors were also more or less the same for both the combinations which led the set to the decider.

But it was the tie-breaker which made the big difference where out of the eight points played, Paes and Hingis only managed to win one point in comparison to the Indo-Croat pair's seven, clinching the set in 44 minutes.

The top seeds were on a roll. They carried the momentum to the second set, which they won in less than half an hour, where they broke Paes' serve early in the first game to get the crucial break. Paes was not able to hold his serve and gave in to his opponents.

Both teams held their serves for the next seven games with Mirza and Dodig leading 5-3. Serving to save the set, pressure took its toll on Paes who once again faltered with a couple of wayward serves to hand the game, set and match to the top seeded combine.

Paes' serve faltered in the quarter-final with the pair suffering as many as four double faults.

IANS

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