Paris, May 26 (IANS) India’s tennis stars Leander Paes and Sania Mirza stormed into the second round of their respective mixed doubles events while Purav Raja was knocked out of the men’s doubles of the French Open tennis tournament here on Thursday.
Paes and his mixed doubles partner Martina Hingis defeated the German-Colombian pair of Anna-Lena Gronefeld and Robert Farah 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and eight minutes in the first round.
Second-seeded Sania and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig beat French pair of Tristan Lamasine and Mathilde Johansson 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and five minutes in the first round.
However, Raja and his Croatian partner Ivo Karlovic went down to ninth seeded Polish-Austrian pair of Lukasz Kubot and Austrian Alexander Peya 1-6, 2-6 in just 47 minutes in the first round.
Earlier in the day, Paes-Hingis began the match on a positive note taking a vital 4-2 lead after they broke the German-Colombian pair once in the first set.
The pair played sensibly from there on to not lose the advantage and eventually win the first set 6-4 with ease.
The first set win proved a confidence booster for Paes-Hingis as the experienced duo yet again broke their opponent in the second set and took an important 4-2 lead over the opposition.
Anna-Robert won two games from there on to reduce the margin to 5-4, but there was no looking back for the experienced pair as they went on to win the next game and grab the second set 6-2 and enter the second round in style.
Paes-Hingis won 17 out of 25 first serve points and three out of six second serve points in the second set.
While Sania and Dodig began on a good note taking an important 4-3 lead in the first set and despite Lamasine-Mathilde making it 4-4, the second-seeded pair ensured they held on to the advantage by winning the opening set 6-4.
In the second set, Sania-Dodig continued their good show taking a vital 4-1 lead to stay on course for a comfortable win. The handy lead proved well for the Indo-Croatian as the duo never looked back and went on to win the set 6-3 comfortably to enter the second round.
On the other hand, Raja and his Croatian partner Karlovic were never in contention to win the match which was dominated entirely by Kubot-Peya. They took a 5-0 lead in the first set and cruised to the first set 6-1.
The second set also saw the same story as they, courtesy of couple of break points, gained went on to take a 5-2 lead and close out the match 6-2.