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Sania, Bopanna in quarters; Paes knocked out of Wimbledon

INDIAN TENNIS PLAYERS Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza entered the men's and women's doubles quarter-finals, while Leander Paes was knocked out in the men's doubles of the Wimbledon Championships here on Monday.

Bopanna with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea earned a hard fought victory against the Polish-Belarusian pair of Lukasz Kubot and Max Mirnyi 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6 (8) after an epic battle that stretched for three hours and 20 minutes.

Sania with her Swiss partner Martina Hingis needed only an hour and seven minutes to win 6-4, 6-3 in a third round tie against Spanish 16th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja.

Paes partnering Canada's Daniel Nestor lost to Brazilian Bruno Soares and Austrian Alexander Peya 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6 in a battle which lasted two hours and 42 minutes.

Sixth-seeded Bopanna-Mergea fought hard as the match was evenly contested all the way through, as indicated by the scoreline, with each of the four sets contested stretching to tiebreakers as both the teams found it difficult to break the opponents' serves.

The two teams matched each other shot to shot and the statistics were almost identical. But Bopanna-Mergea edged out their opponents, though marginally, in the unforced errors and total points to claim the contest.

The Indian-Romanian pair forced their opponents to 18 unforced errors, three more than them, and won 169 points compared to 166 by the Polish-Belarusian duo.

But the winning duo hit 22 aces and 35 winners, way more than the vanquished team's nine and 20, respectively, which settled the fate of the keen contest.

In the quarters, Bopanna-Mergea will face the winner of the match between top seeded American brothers duo of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan and the Croatian-New Zealand pair of Mate Pavic and Michael Venus.

Sania and Martina were easily the stronger pair, winning more points on their first serves, having four times the number of winners to their opponents and also winning five break points in comparison to three taken by Anabel and Arantxa.

They also won 59 of the 104 points played in the match.

In the last game of the contest, where Sania was serving for the match, the top seeded duo easily won four straight points to seal the match and enter the Round of 8.

On the other hand, Paes and Nestor who were seeded 11th, lost to eighth seed Bruno Soares and Alexander Peya.

Soares and Peya started the match on a positive note winning 13 out of 17 first serve points, also earning the only break point to take the first set 6-3.

The second set saw similar results in favour of the eighth seeds as they played aggressively and winning two out of two break points to win the set and go two set-up in the match.

The 11th seeds Paes and Nestor returned strongly in the third set as they won 13 out of 15 first serve points and winning two break points out of four to take the third set 6-3.

The fourth set also saw positive results coming their way as some hard-fought tennis helped them level things up.

The fifth set saw Soares and Peya coming back to rhythm as they again played aggressively winning 19 out of 23 first serve points and also winning two crucial break points out of four to seal the fifth set and the match and enter the quarter-finals in style.

In the boys' singles, India's Sumit Nagal lost to Argentine Juan Pablo Ficovich 7-5, 2-6, 4-6 in the first round.

Sumit got off to a positive start winning two break points and thus winning the first set 7-5, but the Argentine came back strongly into the match in the second set winning 10 out of 11 first serve points and winning two out of three break points to level things up.

The third set also saw Ficovich starting aggressively delivering two aces at a crucial time and earning a break point which sealed the math for him.

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