Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s highlights of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship women’s doubles match between Sania Mirza-Madison Keys and Veronika Kudermetova-Liudmila Samsonova.
And with that comes an end to a blistering 20-year career of Sania Mirza, who will retire from tennis with six grand-slam titles under her belt!
SECOND SET (* denotes server)
Mirza/Keys 0-6 Kudermetova/Samsonova* -Kudermetova serves. Sania mishits a lob, Kudermetova capitalises and puts in a smash to get the first point. Two consecutive points for the Russians as Keys finds the net. Keys with a blunder, Samsonova mistimes a drop, all Keys had to do was to place it away from the Russians but she eventually hits it wide. Kudermetova-Samsonova collect A GOLDEN SET to knock Mirza/Keys out of the tournament!
Mirza/Keys* 0-5 Kudermetova/Samsonova - Keys to serve. Kudermetova returns a powerful serve, Keys tries a backhand but hits it wide. The game is tied 40-40 as Keys showcases her brilliance on the left lane, hitting two low-kept shots to pull one back. But the game finally goes to the Russians as they continue their demolition job
Mirza/Keys 0-4 Kudermetova/Samsonova* -Samsonova serves. Easy point for Kudermetova as she drops a lob from Keys, 15-0. Great synergy between the Russian pair, Samsonova finds Sania, who returns with a weak shot as Kudermetova from the front puts in a cross court drop to collect a point. Thats four games on the trot for Kudermetova/Samsonova
Mirza/Keys* 0-3 Kudermetova/Samsonova - Sania to serve. Sania gets a half volley, returns it to Kudermetova, who fails to control the ball and hits it wide. 30-40 in favour of the Russians. Samsonova moves wonderfully to her right and places the ball just out of reach of Keys to win the game. Pure domination from the Russians.
Mirza/Keys 0-2 Kudermetova/Samsonova*- Kudermetova serves. Keys tries a cross court forehand but the ball goes wide. Two point advantage for the Russians. Samsonova does well to defend a powerful shot off Sania and returns it to Keys who hits it away as the opposition is just a point away from winning the game. Sania stretches full length to connect but hits it wide. Game belongs to the Russian pair.
Mirza/Keys* 0-1 Kudermetova/Samsonova- Keys to serve first. Sania in the front lobs it to Kudermetova who capitalises it and dishes out a smash to get a one point lead. The Russians carry the momentum forward and win the first game.
FIRST SET (* denotes server)
Mirza/Keys 4-6 Kudermetova/Samsonova* - Samsonova to serve. Kudermetova in the front does well to hit two consecutive shots directed towards Sania to take a two point lead. Set point now. Mirza/Keys gets a point as Kudermetova mishits a drop and the ball goes outside the sideline. And the Russian pair pockets the set as Keys hits it wide.
Mirza/Keys* 4-5 Kudermetova/Samsonova- Keys to serve. Keys hits a low kept cross court shot and Samsonova fails to connect to it properly as the ball crashes on to the net. Sania moves forward and drops it perfectly to get a point. 40-40 now, Kudermetova helps his side to win the deciding point with a well controlled volley as they take the game. Huge advantage
Mirza/Keys 4-4 Kudermetova/Samsonova* - Kudermetova to serve. Change of racket for Kudermetova and the play resumes after a short break. Double fault from Kudermetova and Sania-keys now hold a two point lead. The Russians pull one back as a backhand from Kudermetova eludes both of her opponents, scores level now. Two wonderful forehand shots from Sania through the right lane as they pick a crucial lead. The set belongs to Mirza/Keys as Samsonova hits the net.
Mirza/Keys* 3-4 Kudermetova/Samsonova - Sania serves. Brilliant back and forth between the pairs. Samsonova hits a low volley towards Sania and she controls it to steer the ball cross court to pick a well-earned point. Kudermetova-Samsonova gets the lead in a crucial juncture and have collected the game! Setback for Mirza-Keys.
Mirza/Keys 3-3 Kudermetova/Samsonova* - Samsonova to serve. Sania hits a lofted shot that tests Samsonova but she manages to slot it near Sania and he dishes a pwerful smash to take lead. Samsonova gets an ace that races past Sania to take a two point lead. The Russian pair takes the game.
Mirza/Keys* 3-2 Kudermetova/Samsonova - Keys to serve. The Russians draw first blood but Mirza-Keys pull one back after Kudermetova hits it away. Mirza/Keys pockets the game as Keys hits a forehand that goes out of reach of Samsonova.
Mirza/Keys 2-2 Kudermetova/Samsonova* - The Russian pair starts off with two consecutive points. Keys tries a forehand return but finds the net, 0-40. And that is the end of the set. Kudermetova-Samsonova restore parity.
Mirza/Keys* 2-1 Kudermetova/Samsonova - Sania Mirza to serve now. Up 30-0 very quickly. Double fault from the Indian. Mirza overhits a backhand and Samsonova rightly lets it go as the ball sails past the baseline. Gun first serve down the T from Mirza and it is a service winner. Crosscourt forehand pass from Mirza to close the game.
Mirza/Keys 1-1 Kudermetova/Samsonova* - Samsonova to serve first amongst the Russians. Begins with an ace. And follows it up with a double fault. Interesting start. A bit of luck helping the Indo-American duo as Mirza’s crosscourt forehand hits the tape and the ball dies on the other half of the court - 15-30. A forehand winner down the line from the Indian - 30-40. Break point opportunity. Kudermetova saves the first break point with an overhead volley. Deciding point now. Mirza nets the forehand return on Samsonova’s second serve.
Mirza/Keys* 1-0 Kudermetova/Samsonova - Game time. Keys to serve first. Mirza nets an overhead volley which is followed by a down-the-line forehand return winner from Kudermetova - 30-all. Keys nets a forehand - 40-all. Deciding point and first opportunity for the Russians. Kudermetova nets a half volley. Keys holds serve.
7:15PM - The two pairs are out on Court 3 and warming up.
7:05PM - Mirza has previously reached the final on two occasions in Dubai - in 2012, she and Russia’s Elena Vesnina lost 2-6, 1-6 to the all-American pair of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. In 2013, Mirza and USA’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat the Russian-Slovenian duo of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 2-6, [10-7] to win the title.
7PM - ICYMI, do read this pre-tournament interview - Sania Mirza: I am neither a rebel nor a trend-setter
Sania Mirza will be in action with Madison Keys of the United States, in what will be her farewell tournament on the WTA tour. The six-time Grand Slam champion confirmed earlier this year that she will retire after the event in Dubai.
The Indian-American pair will be up against Russian combo of Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova.
The match between Sania Mizra-Madison Keys and Veronika Kudermetova-Luidmila Samsonova will not be telecast in India. Although, it can be live streamed on WTA TV.
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