Indian tennis stars Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna got off to a winning start to their Wimbledon campaign this year as they beat Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the mixed doubles event on Friday. The scoreline at the end of the match read 6-2, 7-6 in favor of Mirza and Bopanna. The match was a fairly contested one, with the two teams going to the dreaded tie-breaker during the second set. Mirza and Bopanna managed to win the tie-breaker 7-5 to win the match in straight sets. On paper, Mirza and Bopanna were favorites but fans were treated to a thrilling second set. It was also the first time in the open era that two Indian teams competed against each other at a Grand Slam tournament.
Sania and Bopanna had managed to score five aces. Surprisingly, their opponents scored a lot more with 11. The duo even had more double faults with six than Raina and Ramanathan who committed just the one. They were evenly matched in the win percentage on the first serve statistic. Sania and Bopanna had a 76% win percentage on the first serve whereas Raina and Ramanathan had 71%. On the second serve, however, there shows a severe gulf in quality. Sania and Bopanna had a 78% win percentage on the second serve whereas Raina and Ramanathan could only manage a mere 38%.
The victors even managed to win three out of six of their break points whereas Raina and Ramanathan could only manage to win one out of four. Sania and Bopanna also won more service games in the match with nine. Their opponents came close as they won seven.
It was an impressive performance from Sania and Bopanna to win the match and advance to the next round, but their luck seems to have run out. They will now face the top ranked team in the world in doubles competition. Their opponents for the next round is the French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic. If the Indian pair manages to oust the top ranked team, it will be a story for the Wimbledon history books.
It must have been interesting for Sania and Ankita to be on opposing teams ahead of the Olympics. The two set to team up and compete in the women’s doubles competition at The Games a few weeks later. Sania is all set to become the first women in the history of Indian sports to represent the country in four Olympics.