Australian Open 2017: Mirza-Strycova, Bopanna-Cuevas start with a win

India’s Sania Mirza, right, and partner Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic celebrate a point win against Britain’s pair Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith during their first round women’s doubles match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Melbourne: Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna made winning starts to their respective campaigns at the Australian Open with contrasting opening-round victories with their doubles partners, In Melbourne on Wednesday.

SaniaMirza and Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova recorded a resounding 6-3 6-1 win over the British pair of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith in the women’s doubles event.

Bopanna and his Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay, seeded 15th, pipped Thomaz Bellucci from Brazil and Maximo Gonzalez from Argentina 6-4 7-6(4) in the men’s doubles first round.

Their next opponents are Australia’s Alex Bolt and Bradley Mousley. Sania and Barbora drew the first blood in the sixth game.

Sania hit a deep forehand down the line to get a third break point after having missed out on the first two. Rae then made an unforced error off the next service as her backhand volley hit the net. The Indian then served out the set in the next game.

Sania and Barbora were more authoritative in the second set as they broke the rivals twice to easily close the match.

The Indian pair of Purav Raja and DivijSharan will open their men’s doubles campaign against French team of Jonathan Eysseric and Fabrice Martin.

Leander Paes and his new partner Andre Sa are up against 10th seeds Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi, whom they had beaten at the Auckland ATP event last week. (PTI)

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