US Open: Mirza-Peng duo makes it to semis

Indian ace Sania Mirza and her Chinese partner Shuai Peng entered the women’s doubles semifinals of the US Open with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of Czech Republic on Thursday.

Sania Mirza and her partner needed an hour and 56 minutes to carve out the straight sets win over their fifth-seeded opponents.   -  AP

India’s Sania Mirza reached her first Grand Slam semifinal of the 2017 season with Shuai Peng after edging past Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova in a close two-set battle at the US Open.

The fourth seeded Indo-Chinese pair dispatched the fifth seed Hungarian-Czech combo 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the quarterfinal which lasted one hour and 56 minutes.

It is season’s best performance for Sania at the Majors as she fell in the third rounds of the Australian Open and the Wimbledon while at the French Open she had made a first round exit.

Sania and Peng now face second seeds Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan, the pair which had defeated the Indian and her Belgian partner Kirsten Flipkens at the Wimbledon. The Taipei-Swiss pair beat H. A. Chan of Taipei and S. Zhang of China 6-2, 6-2.

The seventh seeded Czech pair of L. Hradecka and K. Siniakova will take on third-seeded compatriots L. Safarova and B. Strycova in the other semifinal.

Sania has played with different partners at the Grand Slams this season. She had started the season by teaming up with Barbora Strycova. They had lost in the third round of the Australian Open to Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato.

At the Roland Garros she played with Yaroslava Shvedova and lost to Daria Gavrilova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening round.

Sania has managed to win only one title this season — the Brisbane WTA event with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands — and ended up finalist in Sydney with Strycova.

This is in complete contrast to her stupdendous show in the 2016 season, during which she won eight titles, including five with Swiss great Martina Hingis.

She had ended the 2016 year as number one but has now slipped to number nine as she struggled to find a consistent partner after splitting with Hingis.

Men's doubles

Elsewhere, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecău beat Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the men's doubles semifinal 1-6, 7-6, 7-5. In the other semifinal the Bryan brothers crashed out to the Spanish duo of Marc López and Feliciano López 6-3, 3-6, 4-6.

(With inputs from PTI)

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