Paes, Sania enter US Open finals, Bopanna out

New York: Indian tennis aces Leander Paes and Sania Mirza lived up to their billing by entering the finals of their respective categories at the year’s last Major, the US Open, here.

However, it was the end of the road for Rohan Bopanna as he lost both his men’s and mixed doubles matches at the Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

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Women’s doubles top seeds Sania and Swiss Martina Hingis had an easy outing in their semifinal as they eased past Italian 11th seeds Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-1 on Court 17.

In a topsy-turvy first set, the top seeds were broken twice. But they came back to break their opponents thrice which got them the lead they wanted.

The second set was a much easier affair for Sania and Martina. Though they were again broken once, they broke Sara and Flavia twice more to seal the set in 28 minutes and the match in an hour and 17 minutes.

Though on winners and unforced errors Sania and Martina were at par with the Italians, they won 72 of the 125 points played.

This is Sania’s first final in the category here though she won the mixed doubles title last year with Brazilian Bruno Soares.

The reigning Wimbledon champions will take on the winners of the match between Australian-Kazakh fourth seeds Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova and German-American pair of Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Coco Vandeweghe.

Later on the same court, Martina returned to partner Paes in the mixed doubles semifinals after taking a short break. The pair took just over an hour to beat Indo-Chinese Taipei pair of Bopanna and Yung-Jan Chan 6-2, 7-5.

The fourth seeded Paes and Martina had an easy first set, winning it in only 21 minutes. They broke the second seeds twice which was enough for them to take the lead in the match.

Bopanna and Chan came back strongly to break the Indo-Swiss combine once but the experienced pair of Paes and Martina broke back twice to clinch the second set and proceed to the finals of the tournament.

Paes won the mixed doubles title here in 2008 and also has three men’s doubles titles which he won in 2006, 2009, 2013.

The pair will face unseeded American combine of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sam Querrey in the summit clash.

It wasn’t a good day for Bopanna as in the first match on the same court much earlier in the day, he lost the men’s doubles quarterfinal, partnering Romanian Florin Mergea. The sixth seeds went down to British-Swede pair Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt 6-7(2), 3-6 in an hour and 20 minutes.

There were no breakpoint opportunities in the first set which led to the tie-break where Inglot and Lindstedt proved a tad bit better to win it 7-2. They broke the sixth seeds only once in the second set which was enough to take home the victory, ending Bopanna’s journey at this year’s last Major.

Also, in the third round of girls singles, India’s Karman Kaur Thandi lost to Hungarian second seed Dalma Galfi 4-6, 6-7(3).