Australian Open: Bhupathi-Sania,Paes and Bopanna on winning side(Lead)

January 23rd, 2009 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 23 (IANS) India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza dispelled a second-set fightback from Czech Kveta Peschke and Pavel Vizner, winning six games in a row, to upset the sixth seeds 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the Australian Open mixed doubles here Friday.It turned out to be a succesful day for the Indians in the men’s doubles too with Leander Paes advancing to the third round and Rohan Bopanna moving into second.

Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy, seeded fourth, recorded a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory over Croatian Ivan Ljubicic and Italian Fabio Fognini.

Bopanna and his Finnish partner Jarkko Niemienen rallied from a set down to outlast Spanish pair Marcel Granollers and Santiago Ventura, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the first round. They will next meet Ecuador’s Nicolas Lapentti and Spain’s Tommy Robredo.

Runners-up last year, Sania, who is already out of the singles and doubles, and Bhupathi got off to a flying start. They led 3-0, breaking the Czechs twice. Though the sixth seeds pulled one back in the fourth game, breaking Sania’s serve, the Indians broke Vizner immediately. Then Bhupathi followed his serve to volley well to go up 5-1. A forehand error by Vizner gave Bhupathi and Sania the first set.

The second set saw the Czechs turning the heat on Bhupathi and Sania.

Vizner and Peschke showed good all-court play and gained from a series of errors by the Indians to cruise to a 4-0.

But the Indians came back strongly, first snapping Vizner’s serve and then Peschke in the seventh, with Sania showing good reflexes at the net. Bhupathi then held his serve to make it 4-4.

The turning point of the match came in the ninth game at 30-all when Sania with two outstanding forehand shots and a terrific service return tilted the tide in their favour.

Mahesh then served out the match to win in a little over an hour.

The Indians will next play Australians Anastasia Rodionova and Stephen Huss, who beat compatriot Jessica Morre and Carstan Ball 7-5, 7-5.

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