sania mirza, leander paes and rohan bopanna target success at sw19
by Ronnie Ruff
The Wimbledon championship begins next Monday (27), with high hopes of more Indian success with Sania Mirza and Leander Paes both in fine form.
Their partnerships with Martina Hing- is have secured them several Grand Slam wins over the past year and-a-half, and there could be more glory ahead at SW19.
This is Eastern Eye’s expert guide to the tournament and the figures to back up their claims.
Sania Mirza and Martina hingis (below)
IndIa’S most successful women’s doubles player will try and add to her growing list of Grand Slam titles when she teams up with Swiss star Hingis at Wimbledon.
The defending champions have struck up a remarkable partnership since uniting at the start of 2015.
They have won three majors, five tour events and an end-of-season championship in that time.
Mirza and Hingis tasted Slam success at SW19 last year, beating Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and her former partner Elena Vesnina in the final.
They also won at the US Open and in australia in January, which was part of a record-breaking 41-match unbeaten run.
The only Slam they haven’t won is the French, and that statistic will last for a least another 12 months after a shock second round exit in Paris this month.
Mirza is currently the number one ranked women’s doubles player on the circuit. as well as her three triumphs with Hingis, she has reached one other major, losing in the 2011 French Open final alongside Vesnina.
The 29-year-old from Hyderabad won her first women’s doubles title way back in 2004 with Germany’s Liezel Huber in her hometown. Since then, Mirza has won eight premier championships and 37 WTa titles, linking up along the way with the likes of Vesnina, Zimbabwe’s Cara Black, Bethanie Mattek-Sands of america, and now Hingis, 35.
“Hingis is obviously one of the best players out there, and most importantly one of the best people who can complement the way I play,” Mirza said.
“She’s got amazing skills, and probably one of the best hands in the world at the net. I need someone who can finish the balls off where I set them up.” Hingis, a 22-time Slam winner across the three formats, added: “The chemistry is amazing. We don’t always play super tennis, but we come out and find a solution. I think that’s what makes us right now the best doubles in the world.”
Best of the rest: Sania Mirza and ivan Dodig; Leander Paes and Marcin Matkowski; Rohan Bopanna and florin Mergea; and Bopanna and Alla Kudryavtseva
THE Indian trio of Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will also go for glory in the other doubles events.
Mirza, who needs victory at Wimbledon to complete her mixed doubles career Slam, will link up with dodig and the duo are in form after narrowly losing out in the final in Paris.
Paes, an eight-time major winner in the men’s doubles, looks likely to partner Poland’s Marcin Matkowski after reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros earlier this month.
Top 10 doubles player Bopanna is still chasing his first Grand Slam and will be among the leading seeds with Florin Mergea of Romania. The duo have two titles and four runner-up finishes since 2015, including a finals spot at the end of season championships.
Bopanna is a 17-time winner across the men’s and mixed formats and has had success with the likes of Mahesh Bhupathi and aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. The IndoPak Express reached the final of the US Open back in 2010.
In the mixed doubles, the Indian doubles star is set to pair with Russia’s alla Kudryavtseva.