Melbourne, January 27: India’s tennis star Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig stormed into finals in Mixed Doubles category of Australian Open 2017 at Melbourne Park on Friday. Sania and Dodig defeated Australian pair Samantha Stosur and Sam Groth by 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 in a match that lasted for one hour and 18 minutes.
Mirza and Dodig started the game very slowly to knock out the local pairing with the match going into a super tie-break. The Indo-Croatian team converted four of the eight break point opportunities on offer in contrast to three converted by their opponents in the match.
Sania-Dodig seeded second in the tournament, started slowly and were down 2-4 in the first set before launching a fierce fight back. They took off the next four games to stun the Australian team and take the first set 6-4.
It seemed the Sania and Dodig would build on their advantage and wrap up the match when Groth took a medical time-out at the end of the first set. However, that didn't seem to deter the Australian and he came back spitting fire in the second set.
Groth and Stosur played very aggressively and again zoomed away to a 4-1 lead in the second set and this time there was no way back for the Indo-Croatian team as they were broken twice and finally lost the set 2-6.
It was all tied at 2-2 in the super tie-break when a few errors by Groth cost his team. Stosur held her serve as the Australian duo took a 3-2 lead and had their opponents scampering the next point on Sania's serve. But Groth twice failed to finish off the point with overhead smashes, allowing Sania and Dodig to find a way to win the point.
That point seemed to take the sting out of Groth in particular as he miscued a forehand return, the very next point. It was all Sania and Dodig from there on in as the Australian team continued to commit errors.
Interestingly, Sania and Dodig will play the winner of the second semifinal between Elina Svitolina-Chris Guccione and Abigail Spears-Juan Sebastian Cabal for the title. Notably, Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig earlier defeated the Indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski by 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 to enter semi-finals.