Competing in her last Grand Slam, India tennis star Sania Mirza cruised into the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday. Sania and her Kazakh partner Anna Danilina prevailed over Hungary’s Dalma Galfi and American Bernarda Pera 6-2 7-5 in one hour and 15 minutes in the women’s doubles.
Wrapping up the first set in less than 25 minutes, the pair led 4-1 in the second when they were made to work a bit as Galfi and Pera won four games on the trot to make it five-all.
However, the Indo-Kazakh duo managed to break Pera’s serve and then Danilina held on to hers to seal the issue and set up a second round clash against Alison Van Uytvanck and Anhelina Kalinina.
A six-time Major champion (three in doubles and three in mixed doubles), the 36-year-old Indian has announced that the Australian Open is her last and she would be retiring after WTA 1000 Dubai Tennis Championships slated from February 19.
In men’s doubles, Ramkumar Ramanathan and the duo of Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni made first round exits after losing their respective matches.
Ramkumar and his Mexican partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela squandered their first set lead to go down 6-3 5-7 3-6 to the Tsitsipas brothers — Stefanos and Petros.
Wildcard entrants Bhambri and Myneni went down 6-7 7-6 6-3 to the Australian-German pair of Andreas Mies and John Peers in a two-hour 45-minute battle.
Making their Grand Slam debut as a pair, Bhambri and Myneni saved two match points in the second set to force a decider.
They then went on to take a 3-1 lead but too many unforced errors spelt the end of their campaign.