Sania-Dodig beat Bopanna-Dabrowski to reach Australian Open semis

Melbourne: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig came from behind to beat Indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski to reach the mixed doubles semi-finals of the Australian Open here on Wednesday.

The second seeded Indo-Croatian duo held their nerves to save two match points in their 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 win against the unseeded pair of Bopanna and Dabrowski, who wasted as many as four match point chances, in a match that lasted an hour and seven minutes on Show Court 3 here.

Sania and Ivan will take on either Indo-Swiss duo of Leander Paes and Martina Hingis or Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth for a place in the final.

The two Indians represented the country at the 2016 Olympics in mixed doubles. Sania-Bopanna finished fourth at the Rio Games, losing their bronze medal play-off tie.

Wednesday’s match was a close affair. Both teams were willing to play strokes and be aggressive.

Bopanna-Dabrowski hit 32 winners, compared to 19 by Sania and Dodig and seven more aces at 13. But they were derailed by 21 unforced errors, six more than Sania-Dodig.

Sania-Dodig’s experience of playing together helped them win vital points at crucial junctures of the match. They won 64 overall points, four more than their opponents to claim a tight contest.

In the the junior girls’ singles quarter-finals, Zeel Desai won as her fifth seeded opponent, Serbian Olga Danilovic, retired hurt despite leading in the first set 5-3.