Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethany Mattek-Sands knocked out sixth seed Desira Kravchik and Alexa Guarachi to advance to the second round of the women’s doubles competition at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Sania and Mattek-Sands were a little rusty at first, but once they got their pace, they dominated the game and won 7-5 6-3 against the American-Chile combination in one hour and 27 minutes.
The pressure was on the Indo-American pair at the beginning of the match when Mattek-Sands served the third match, which included seven pairs of points. The American served three double faults in a slow start, but eventually held the game after saving three break points.
Sanya and Mattek-Sands also had two chances to beat their opponents, but the American waved a volley from the net before Desira’s left hand served extremely well to hold.
Guarachi hit wide from a forehand at 15-30 to pass two set points to his opponents in the 12th match. This was the chance for the Indo-American couple not to waste, as Sanya finished the set with a headlong smash.
In the second set, Sania and Mattek-Sands took a 3-1 lead when they beat Guarachi again. Matt Sands’ low-back return was overwhelming, and Sania caught on with an irreversible break. With a 3-1 pillow in hand, Sanya and her partner never looked back.
After Ankita Raina came out on the court later in the day with her American partner Lauren Davis, there will be a bit of a story about Indian tennis in the championship, as for the first time two women athletes from the country compete in the main draw of the Grand Slam.
For Ankita, this will be the third consecutive tennis major’s participation since making his Australian Open debut this year. Sania is the lone Indian who has been competing at the biggest stage of the game since 2005.
Earlier, Indo-American Shikha Uberoy qualified for the women’s singles at the 2004 US Open and also won her first round against Japan’s Saori Obata before losing to Venus Williams.
Shikha could never make the main Grand Slam draw again and then Sanya was the one who kept India represented in the WTA tour. Going back, Nirupama Vaidyanathan was the first to break the basic scheme of the 1998 Grand Slam singles at the Australian Open, while Nirupama Mankad played mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 1971 with Anand Amritrai.