Triple delight for India in doubles

India had a good day overall, after Sania Mirza along with her Russian partner Elena Vesnina advanced to the third round while Somdev Devvarman and Japanese Kei Nishikori also moved ahead.

Sania and Vesnina fought past Czech Republic’s Renata Voracova and her Kazakhastani partner Galina Olegovna Voskoboeva 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.  The Indo-Russian pair had on Thursday progressed to the second round with a straight-set win over Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze and American Melanie Oudin.

The fourth seeded pair quelled a late challenge from the unseeded team to record a 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) win. Somdev and Nishikori came back from a set down to take the match 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 against Rainer Schuettler and A Waske. Bhupathi-Paes, seeded third, lost the tie break in the first set but gathered all their experience to keep their cool and take the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 and book their place in the second round.

Somdev loses in singles

On Thursday, Somdev singles sojourn ended with a straight set defeat to Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the second round, bringing down the curtains on India’s singles challenge.

The 68th ranked Indian lost 2-6, 4-6, 4-6 to the 18th seeded Russian in a rain-hit match. Somdev has done well in the season so far but could not improve his Grand Slam record of having never managed to go past the second round.

Sania Mirza, the lone Indian to figure in the women’s singles, has already crashed out with a first round defeat. However, there was something to cheer for India as Sania and her partner Elena Vesnina progressed to the second round with a straight set win over Anna Chakvetadze and Melanie Oudin.

The fourth seed Indo-Russian pair quelled a late challenge from the unseeded Russian-American team to record a 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) win. They will next take on Czech Renata Voracova and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.

‘No pressure please’

China’s Li Na, who lost on Thu­r­­sday, warned her demanding nation that it must start lifting the burden of expectation off her shoulders.

Li, who made history when she became the first Asian winner of a Grand Slam singles title at the French Open three weeks ago, believes it is time for other players, especially the men, to learn from her example.

China has four women in the top 100 but the highest-ranked man is Bai Yan at a modest 348 in the world. Li insists she knows the reason why her male counterparts are a group of serial under-achievers. “Lazy,” was her damning assessment. “The women are doing a good job. But I wish one day, the men can grow up also.”

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