Wimbledon 2021: Sania Mirza and Mattek-Sands stun sixth seeds to enter 2nd round

Sania and Mattek-Sands won 7-5, 6-3 against the American-Chilean combination in one hour and 27 minutes.

India's Sania Mirza (L) reacts during her women's doubles first round match on the fourth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club.   -  AFP

Sania Mirza and American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands knocked out sixth seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi to move to the second round of the women's doubles event at the Wimbledon Championships in London on Thursday.

Sania and Mattek-Sands won 7-5, 6-3 against the American-Chilean combination in one hour and 27 minutes.

The pressure was on the Indo-American pair early in the match when Mattek-Sands served the third game that featured seven deuce points.

The American served three double faults in a slow start but eventually held the game after saving three break points.

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Sania and Mattek-Sands had two opportunities to break their rivals but the American fluffed a volley at the net before left-handed Desirae served extremely well to eventually hold.

Guarachi hit a forehand wide at 15-30 to hand two set points to their rivals in the 12th game. It was the chance that the Indo-American pair did not squander, with Sania finishing off the set with a smash.

In the second set, Sania and Mattek-Sands opened up a 3-1 lead when they broke Guarachi again.

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Matte-Sands' low backhand return was hit back uppishly and Sania latched on to that with an unreturnable smash.

With a 3-1 cushion at hand, Sania and her partner never looked back.

With Ankita Raina taking the court later in the day with American partner Lauren Davis, there will be a bit of history for Indian tennis at the Championships as for the first time, two women players from the country are competing in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

For Ankita, it will be her third successive appearance at a tennis major, having made her debut at the Australian Open this year.

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Mirza has been the lone Indian competing at the biggest stage of the game since 2005.

Before that, Indian-American Shikha Uberoi had qualified for the US Open women's singles in 2004 and also won her first round against Japan's Saori Obata before losing to Venus Williams.

Shikha could never make the Grand Slam main draw again and after that it was Mirza who kept representing India on the WTA tour.

Nirupama Vaidyanathan was the first to crack a singles Grand Slam main draw in 1998 at the Australian Open. She also played Wimbledon doubles with Rika Hiraki in 2001 while Nirupama Mankad played the 1971 Wimbledon mixed doubles with Anand Amritraj.

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