While the first week of the Australian Open may not have been productive for Indian tennis, the second week of the tournament ended on a high note with Leander Paes winning his seventh mixed doubles Grand Slam.
Paes/ Hingis Win Australian Open Mixed Doubles Title
After a wretched 2014 season, Leander Paes has begun the new season on a high, partnering with Martina Hingis to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title. Paes and Hingis, the seventh seeds, defeated the third seeds Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets in the final. This was Paes’ seventh mixed doubles slam as well as the 15th Slam title for both players (with 5 of those coming in singles for the Swiss Miss).
Leander Paes has had a strong start to the new season – winning in Auckland and reaching the final in Chennai – though he did exit early in the men’s doubles at Melbourne. At 41 and with his sights set on Rio 2016, Paes looks highly motivated for a big 2015.
Saketh Myneni scores biggest win of career
Saketh Myneni continues his late blooming on the professional circuit as the 27-year-old upset top seed Ricardas Berankis in the first round of the ATP Challenger in Hong Kong. Myneni’s 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 win over the 85th ranked Lithuanian is the biggest of his career. After a second round win over Ramkumar Ramanathan, Myneni’s run ended in the quarter-finals at the hand of 20-year-old Kyle Edmunds, who went on to win the title.
India’s No. 1 Somdev Devvarman defeated Yuki Bhambri in the first round and also reached the last eight, going down to Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, the second seed who lost to Edmunds in the final. Myneni also reached the doubles final with Sanam Singh where they were beaten by the Chinese Taipei duo Cheng-Peng Hsieh/ Chu-Huan Yi.
Saketh Myneni and Ankita Raina reach career-high rankings
Myneni’s run in Hong Kong sees him climb 28 spots to No. 234 in the singles rankings this week, cementing his place as India’s No. 2. Devvarman is up 3 spots to No. 136 while Bhambri moves up 57 spots to No. 260 thanks to his qualifying run in Melbourne. In doubles, Paes holds on to the 23rd position, Bopanna climbs 2 spots to No. 25, Myneni jumps 18 spots to No. 155 and Singh climbs 13 spots to No. 151.
Among the women, Sania Mirza drops one spot to No. 6 in doubles while Anita Raina stays put at No. 262 in doubles and climbs 6 spots to No. 239 in singles, also a career-best for her.