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Paes-Hingis through; Sania, Bopanna crashes out


London: India’s Leander Paes entered the semifinals of the mixed doubles event even as Sania Mirza crashed out in the quarterfinals at the Wimbledon, here yesterday.

While seventh seeded Paes and his Swiss partner Martina Hingis took little time to brush aside the challenge of unseeded Polish-Russian combination of Marcin Matkowski and Elina Vesnina 6-2 6-1 in just 44 minutes, second seeds Sania and Bruno Soares of Brazil were stunned 6-3 6-7(8) 7-9 by fifth seeds Alexander Peya of Austria and Timea Babos of Hungary in two hours and 21 minutes.

Paes amd Hingis will next face top seeded American pair of Mike Bryan and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the semifinals.

It was also curtains for India’s Rohan Bopanna’s whose bid to enter his maiden Wimbledon doubles final came to a disappointing end as he along with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea lost a marathon five-setter against fourth seeded Dutch-Romanian pair of Jean Julien-Rojer and Horia Tecau.

Julien-Rojer and Tecau won 4-6 6-2 6-3 4-6 13-11 in a contest that went on for three hours and 23 minutes.

For Bopanna, it was yet again a case of being so near yet so far after he lost another marathon five-setter semi-final back in 2013. Ironically, his partner was Julien-Rojer, who ended up on the winning side yesterday.

The final set turned out to be a battle of patience for both pairs as they held their respective services for 23 games. It was in the 24th game of the fifth set that the Indo-Romanian pair was broken and the match ended there itself.

The match started with Bopanna being broken in the very first game but Mergea’s good returns saw them break back. The pair also broke Tecau to take the first set at 6-4.

In the second set, it was the turn of the Dutch-Romanian pair to get a double break and win the set easily by 6-2 margin. The third set went nearly on similar lines as Bopanna-Mergea were broken once and lost the set at 3-6.

Down 1-2, the Indo-Romanian pair came back strongly in the fourth set winning the coveted break and taking it at 6-4.

However Bopanna despite his booming serves was not in his element as he made too many unforced errors both at the net and from the baseline. In all the pair committed 12 double faults including five in the fifth and final set itself.

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