Bright day for Paes, Sania, Bopanna

Bright day for Paes, Sania, Bopanna

Leander Paes emerged victorious in a tight mixed doubles contest against Mahesh Bhupathi to advance to the quarterfinals while Sania Mirza stormed into the last-eight stage in her two events at the Australian Open on Monday.

Paes and his Slovakian partner Daniela Hantuchova, unseeded in the tournament, scored an upset victory over eighth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-0, 2-6, 10-6 to make it to the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles.

They will now take on the pair of Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor of Canada in the last-eight match.

Sania and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black beat the pair of Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Russia’s Vera Dushevina 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 12 minutes to reach the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles.

Sania and Cara now have a tough task at hands as they will meet world number one Italian combo of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals.

The Indian then joined hands with her Romanian partner Horia Tecau to outplay Anastasia Rodionova of Australia and Britain’s Colin Fleming 6-2, 6-2 in a 51-minute mixed doubles pre-quarterfinal match.

Another Indian, Rohan Bopanna and his partner Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia also entered the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event after posting 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win over Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and John Peers.

Bopanna and Srebotnik now take on another Australian duo of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden.

Meanwhile, in a junior girls’ doubles first round match, India’s Simran Kaur Sethi and her South African partner Ilze Hattingh lost 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (9-7), 3-10 to the seventh sedded US pair of Michaela Gordon and Katrine Steffensen. 

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