With the Australian Open underway, most of the focus in Indian tennis circles has been centred around Melbourne and the news has not been so great from Down Under. Here’s our recap of the week that was in Indian tennis.
Doubles Stars Flop
Just last weekend, we were hailing India’s doubles stars after Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza all claimed titles heading into Melbourne. But none of them managed to survive longer than two rounds at the Australian Open in the doubles competition.
Paes and South African partner Rave Klassen were beaten in the second round by Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 while Bopanna and Daniel Nestor lost 5-7, 3-6 to Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi. Mahesh Bhupathi went out in the first round itself with partner Jurgen Melzer while Sania Mirza’s hopes of a first slam in women’s doubles came to an end in the second round as she and Su-Wei Hsieh lost to the unseeded Canadian-Polish pairing of Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska 6(5)-7, 4-6.
Paes and Mirza Through to Mixed Doubles Quarter Finals
Indian interest still remains alive in the mixed doubles, though. While Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna both lost in the first round with their respective partners, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza are through to the quarter-finals. Mirza is playing with Brazil’s Bruno Soares while Paes is partnering Swiss Miss Martina Hingis and both pairs have won two rounds to move into the last eight.
Purav Raja wins ITF Futures Doubles in France
India’s Purav Raja has won the ITF Futures $10K title in France with partner Fabrice Martin. The top seeds beat the second seeds Kevin King/ David Rice 6-3, 6-2 for the win. Raja also qualified for the singles draw and reached the second round where he lost to top seed Benoit Paire, the former top 30 player who went on to win the title.
At the ITF Iran Futures, 19-year-old Nike Kaliyanda Poonacha reached the second round before bowing down to second seed Alexis Musialek in straight sets.
At the women’s ITF $10K in Egypt, Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy and Dhruthi Venugopal reached the second round as well.
Indian Juniors Provide Some Cheer
While India’s pros failed to impress, there was some cheer from the juniors as 17-year-old Sumit Nagal has advanced to the third round, including a win over fifth seed Michael Mmoh in the first round while 15-year-old Pranjala Yadlapalli reached the second round before losing to top seed Shilin Xu, of China.
Far away from Melbourne in Kolkata, 16-year-old Karman Kaur Thandi won the u-18 title at the ITF Grade II juniors event beating Thailand’s Y. Jittakoat 6-4, 7-5 while Aryan Goveas lost to Taipei’s Cing Yang Meng 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 in the u-18 boys final.