Sania Mirza was quite emotional at the end of the first semifinals of the Mixed Doubles in Australian Open 2023 in Melbourne on Wednesday, January 25. The tennis sensation from Hyderabad in India said going to the final in her final is quite special. Grand Slam with his good friend Rohan Bopanna. “It was a great match, there were a lot of nerves. It’s my last slam and it’s so special to play with Rohan. He was my first mixed doubles partner when I was 14 and today I’m 36 and he’s 42 and we play still, we have a solid relationship,” said Sania after the match. Playing at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne Park, the two teams surrendered to a neck-and-neck battle in the first set with neither dropping a single serve. Mirza and Bopanna finally took the lead after beating their opponents 7-5 in the tiebreak.
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In the second set, the Indian pair took an early advantage as they combined well to break Skupski’s serve in the very first game. The British-American duo drew level after breaking serve from Bopanna and Sania in the sixth and eighth games respectively.
The Indians put their experience to good use to provide three more breakpoints of their own.
With Sania serving for the match in the 12th game, the Indian pair had a chance for match points but squandered it as Krawczyk and Skupski fought back to force a second set tiebreaker.
Next, Krawczyk and Skupski came out on top to take the game into a super tie-breaker. The Indian pair bounced back brilliantly from the disappointing second set end to win the super tie-breaker 10-6.
It is the first time in five years that a Grand Slam final will be represented by India. Bopanna had made it to the 2018 Australian Open mixed doubles final with Hungary’s Timea Babos, but ended up on the losing side.
Playing her last major as a six-time Grand Slam champion, Sania announced earlier this month that she will be retiring from professional tennis at the Dubai Tennis Championships, a WTA 1000 event starting February 19. She has six major doubles titles. — three in women’s doubles and as many as mixed doubles — with her first triumph in 2009 when she partnered Mahesh Bhupathi to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title.
With input from IANS