Paes, Sania move to second round in Australian Open doubles

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Melbourne, Jan 21 (IANS) Sania Mirza and Leander Paes made it a pleasant Wednesday for Indian tennis fans, winning their respective opening round doubles matches in the Australian Open here.

The Indo-South African pair of Leander Paes and Raven Klaasen beat American pair of Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the first round.

Sania Mirza and Chinese Taiei’s Hsieh Su-wei got their tournament campaign off to a strong start, winning their first round match 6-2, 6-0 against Maria Irigoyen of Argentina and Romina Oprandi of Switzerland.

Paes and Klaasen, seeded 10th, took 91 minutes to win their match, breaking the opponents serve once in the first set, hitting 35 winners on their way to victory.

They will now face the winners of the match between Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey and the Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

Earlier in the day, Sania, who recently reached her career best doubles ranking of No.5 for the second time, started the match in a dominating fashion at the Melbourne Park.

The second seeded pair asserted their dominance early in the match and ultimately hit 23 winners compared to a mere eight by their opponents.

Under pressure, their opponents committed 21 unforced errors, 13 more than the Sania-Hsieh pair who claimed the match in 48 minutes.

The Indo-Taipei team will face the Canadian-Polish pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska in the next round.

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