Sania wins it for India
Jan 02: India ’s tennis sensation Sania Mirza kept her fighting spirit as she overcame a stiff challenge from Alicia Molik before joining Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles decider to beat Australia 2-1 in a thrilling Group ‘A’ encounter and keep on India chances alive in the Hyundai Hopman Cup at Perth’s Burswood Dome on Tuesday.
Mirza steered India to a close victory against Australia when she partnered Rohan Bopanna to a breathtaking 6-2 4-6 13-11 (tie-break) win over Molik and Peter Luczak in the deciding rubber that went on for more than an hour.
The possibility to qualify for the finals sustain for India but they still needs to beat the Czech Republic 3-0 and hope Australia can get over the US, and if that happens, it would be India’s maiden appearance in the final.
Earlier, Sania overcame a stiff challenge from Alicia Molik to win the women's singles clash 6-2 2-6 6-4 providing India a 1-0 lead. However, Bopanna squandered the opportunity as he lost to Peter Luczak 7-6 6-3 as the sixth-seeded hosts drew levels.
Luczak, playing his first Hopman Cup, scored a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over Bopanna. The World No79 was rarely troubled on serve against Bopanna.
Sania, who was nearly losing out the final set after being 5-1 up pulled it off nicely in the end, “I almost lost that one. 15-40, love-40, it does not matter, she can come up with a big serve at any time," Sania acknowledged later.
“I hadn’t won a match since October, so that’s why I had trouble closing it out. I was up 5-1 and she started playing really well, which also happened in my first match. I’m just happy I came through it and that we won the tie,” she added.
The Indian pair, which lost its opening tie to the United States, has one win and one loss. The top team in each group advances to Friday's final. Seventh-seeded India will take on third seeded Czech Republic in their next group engagement on January 3.
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