Sania-Martina enter Australian Open final (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Top seeded tennis pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis hardly broke sweat on their way to victory in their 35th successive match and enter the women’s doubles final of the Australian Open at the Melbourne Park here on Wednesday.

The Indo-Swiss pair took only 54 minutes to beat German-Czech 13th seeds Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 6-0 in the semi-finals at the Rod Laver Arena. They will take on Czech seventh seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the final to earn their eighth title on the trot.

The last four contest was going without any hiccup till 2-1 when the world’s top ranked team broke their opponents in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. Sania and Martina held their service game and broke the 13th seeds’ serve again in the sixth game to take a 5-1 advantage.

It was only a matter of time before they sealed the set in their favour in only 26 minutes.

Sania and Martina, who are both individually ranked No.1 in the world, carried the momentum into the second set to break Julia and Karolina in the first and third games to go 4-0 up.

It finally looked like the German-Czech combination would be able to get off the mark when they were 40-0 up in the fifth game, but Sania and Martina were in total demolition mode. They first brought the game to deuce and then broke their opponents for the third time in the set to make it 5-0.

Serving for the set and match, Sania wasted three matchpoint opportunities but finally clinched it when Julia’s hit went into the net to give the Indo-Swiss pair entry into the finals.

This will be Sania’s first women’s doubles final here with her previous best coming in 2012 when she reached the semis with Russian Elena Vesnina.

The top seeds complimented each other really well. While Martina was impeccable up front at the net, Sania’s ground strokes were hit so hard from the baseline that their opponents were hardly able to get near the balls.

The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champions were easily the dominant pair, winning 60 points to the German-Czech pair’s 33. They also won a remarkable five breakpoint chances to none out of four opportunities for Julia and Karolina.

Earlier in the day, mixed doubles third seeds Rohan Bopanna and Yung-Jan Chan were knocked out of the year’s first Major, losing their quarter-final 2-6, 5-7 in 55 minutes to Filipino-Slovenian pairing of Treat Huey and Andreja Klepac on Show Court 2.

Bopanna-Chan were second best from the very beginning, their serve broken four times in six attempts while managing to break back only once in five tries. Even though they hit more winners (25 to 19), they committed double the unforced errors than their opponents (9).

The unseeded winning pair won 59 of the total 112 points played. They converted both the break points chances they got in the first set to easily claim it in 21 minutes.

Bopanna and Chan put up a fight in the second set but they couldn’t hold their serve again and were broken twice to surrender the set in 34 minutes.

In a girls’ singles third round match, Indian 10th seed Pranjala Yadlapalli lost to Russian eighth seed Anastasia Potapova 5-7, 5-7 on Court No.20. In another match of the same category, Pranjala’s compatriot Karman Thandi put up a spirited fight but ultimately accepted a 6-3, 5-7, 5-7 defeat against Australian Sara Tomic on Court 6.

The two Indian girls, seeded fifth in girls’ doubles, lost as a pair too as they went down to the unseeded local combination of Jaimee Fourlis and Maddison Inglis 6-7(3), 5-7 on Court 20 in the quarter-finals.

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