London: It was a superb start for Indian tennis players as Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza notched up first round victories in their respective categories at Wimbledon here Wednesday.
In the women’s doubles, Indo-American sixth seeds Sania and Liezel Huber beat Czech pair Renata Voracova and Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to advance to the second round.
Having shared the first two sets, Sania and Liezel went on to dominate the third and final set, racing away to 5-0 lead in no time. Renata and Klara managed to win a game before losing the match in one hour and 27 minutes.
In the men’s doubles, 14th seeded Indo-French pair Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat experienced Finnish-Russian duo Jarkko Nieminen and Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(6) in two hours and seven minutes to proceed to the second round, where they will face German-Czech pairing Daniel Brands and Lukas Rosol.
Meanwhile, the eighth seeded Indo-Austrian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Julian Knowle advanced to the second round beating unseeded Argentine-Spanish duo Leonardo Mayer and Albert Ramos. Bhupathi-Knowle won 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 37 minutes.
The eighth seeds broke their opponents for the first time in the sixth game of the first set to take a 4-2 advantage, converting their third break point, and won the next game to take a step closer to bagging the set. They again broke their opponents in the final game to clinch the set in half-an-hour.
Mayer-Ramos returned the favour by breaking the Indo-Austrian duo in the first game of the second set and won on their serve to make it 2-0. Bhupathi and Knowle broke back to level the set 5-5 and pushed the match into the tiebreaker. However, the tiebreaker did not go in their favour, losing 5-7.
The Indo-Austrian combination needed four break points in the third set to step ahead of Mayer and Ramos to take the set and lead the match 2-1.
The eighth seeds were in their elements, easily breaking Mayer and Ramos twice in the fourth set and bagging their service games to love to take the set and match.
Bhupathi-Knowle will next take on American-German duo Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler, who ousted another Indian pair, Purav Raja and Divij Sharan, in the first round.