Sania Mirza and her Kazakh partner Anna Danilina went down 4-6, 6-4, 2-6 to the Ukrainian-Belgian duo of Anhelina Kalinina and Alison Van Uytvanck in their second-round match in women’s doubles at the 2023 Australian Open on Sunday.
Sania, who is playing her final Grand Slam as she is set to retire after next month’s Dubai Masters, is still alive in the tournament in mixed doubles with her partner and compatriot Rohan Bopanna.
Sania, former World No. 1 in doubles, and Kalinina could not convert any of the five break points on Van Uytvanck’s opening service game in the first set. However, when it came to the unseeded Ukrainian-Belgian pair, it broke Sania to love in the 10th game to clinch the opener 6-4.
With the momentum against them, eighth-seeded Sania and Danilina conceded an early break in the second set and trailed 0-3 before pulling off a stunning comeback to reel off five straight games. Danilina, who reached last year’s women’s doubles final with Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, comfortably served the second set out at 5-4.
In the decider, Sania and Danilina again fell 0-3 behind and it seemed like they would be able to repeat their actions from the second set when they broke the Belgian to bring things back on serve after the fifth game. But this time, the unseeded pair fought back, converting second break point on the 36-year-old Indian’s serve in the following game. Kalinina and Van Uytvanck saved two break points on former’s serve to go 5-2 up and then broke Danilina to seal a spot in the third round.
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and N Sriram Balaji, who got entry into the main draw as alternates and defeated fifth seeds in their tournament opener, lost 4-6, 4-6 to Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin in the second round, ending India’s challenge in men’s doubles.
After Manas Dhamne, Yuvan Nandal became the second Indian to reach the second round in boy’s singles. Facing USA’s Alexander Frusina, Nandal was trailing 0-5 in the final set but somehow saved four match points and won six games in a row. At 2-6, 6-3, 6-5, when the 17-year-old Indian was about to serve for the match, the American was forced to retire after suffering from severe cramps. However, later in the day, Nandal and his Polish partner Goraz Zgola lost 5-7, 1-6 to Turkish-Japanese pair of Atakan Karahan and Rei Sakamoto in the opening round of doubles.
In the girls’ singles, Shruti Ahlawat, the only Indian in the draw, went down 3-6, 1-6 to Japan’s Wakana Sonobe in the opening round.
Junior Boys’ Singles
Junior Girls’ Singles
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