Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka displayed fearless brand of tennis but much younger and superior American singles players Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula prevailed in the women’s doubles third round of the French Open, in Paris on Tuesday.
Despite a combined age of 72 years, Mirza and Hradecka produced some high quality tennis but lost 4-6 3-6 to Pegula, ranked 11th in the singles and world number 23 Gauff.
Mirza was impressive with her lower and angled forehands while Hradecka’s power-packed backhand hitting from the baseline was a treat to watch but the Americans got those crucial points that dictated the outcome of the match.
Mirza and Hradecka were down 3-5 in the opening set but Gauff, while serving for the set, committed a double fault to hand a break chance.
Mirza easily dispatched a volley to grab the breakpoint for the team.
Hradecka served next and at 30-all, Sania fluffed an overhead smash to hand the Americans set point, which got converted when the Czech made a return error.
Mirza and Hradecka had got a measure of their rivals by now and the fearless and confident hitting had begun.
The Indo-Czech pair nosed ahead in the second set by breaking the serve of Pegula in the very first game and Mirza made it 2-0 with an easy hold.
Gauff’s serve was put under pressure. At 30-all, Mirza went for a deep return but that sailed over the baseline. Hradecka too went for big shots but her unforced error put the Americans on board.
Pegula found a stunning angled winner that sped off from the corner of the court when Hradecka served at 15-40, making it 2-2.
They were in danger of dropping serve again but Mirza saved three breakpoints in the sixth game. The Americans too saved three break chances.
However Americans found a way to get one more break and Pegula served out the match and the pair moved to the quarterfinals.