Playing powerfully and losing just one game, world’s no.1 ranked women pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have brought themselves on the threshold of another Grand Slam win. In 2016 Australian Open semifinal on Wednesday, Sania/Hingis took only 54 minutes in brushing aside 13th seeded German Julia Georges and Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova. For the title game, the Indo-Swiss pair will play against seventh seeded Czechs Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka. In men’s draw, second-seeded Andy Murray booked himself into the semifinal with a four-set victory over no.8 seed Spain’s David Ferrer and now meets Canada’s Milos Raonic, who defeated French showman Gael Monfils. In a disappointing finish to her Australian Open aspirations, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka lost against Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinal. To claim a place in the final, Kerber will play against Great Britain’s Johanna Konta. If she beats Kerber, the world no.147 Konta could become the first female player from Britain to reach a Grand Slam final since Virginia Wade won the Wimbledon in 1977.
Women doubles top-seeds Sania Mirza of India and Martina Hingis of Switzerland scored their 35th successive match win and entered the final of the Australian by beating 13th seeded Julia Georges of Germany and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic on Wednesday. The Indo-Swiss pair did not have to work too hard and in just under one hour, they were through with an emphatic 6-1,6-0 victory. Sania/Hingis, called Santina on social media websites, broke early to take a 3-1 lead in the first set and didn’t lose another game until the finish. Both sets lasted 27 minutes each with the second ending with a bagel to the German-Czech combo. In the final, Sania/Hingis will play against 7th seeded Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka. The all Czech team defeated unseeded Chinese pair of Yi-Fan Xu/Saisai Zheng 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in an earlier match. The Indo/Swiss team has been dominating the women’s doubles scene for a while now. They captured Wimbledon and US Open titles and went on to win almost all WTA title subsequently. They had a fantastic beginning in 2016 with back-to-back victories at Brisbane and Sydney Internationals. The last time the pair lost was against the Chan sisters in the Cincinnati Masters.
Andy Murray beat David Ferrer 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday to enter the semifinals of the 2016 Australian Open. The no.2 seed had won the first set before Ferrer came back to claim the second on tiebreak. When Murray broke Ferrer in third set to take a 3-1 lead, it was decided that the overhead roof be closed because of an impending storm. Ferrer probably didn’t like it but he had to carry on. Murray broke yet again in the third set and continued the assault to finish the winner in four sets. On Friday, Murray will play against Canadian Milos Raonic, who stopped the dream run of the 23rd seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.
Victoria Azarenka’s dream of the third Australian Open title was shattered, when she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber 3-6, 5-7. It was pretty much unlike how Vika had been playing until now at Melbourne as she slipped to a 0-4 deficit in the first set before reaching 3-4. But Kerber found her rhythm and won the first set 6-3. In the second, Vika bounced back to take a 5-2 clear lead. Once again, Kerber strived to reverse the trend and kept the Belarusian out of the semifinals. It was also the German’s first victory over Azarenka in their last 7 meetings. Kerber’s semifinal opponent will be Great Britain’s Johanna Konta, who defeated Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinal. Along with Andy and Jamie Murray, Konta is the third Britisher in the semifinal of this year’s Australian Open . While Murray has reached men’s singles semifinal, Jamie has reached the men’s doubles semis with Brazilian Bruno Soares. Murray/Soares were a set down against South African Raven Klaasen and American Rajeev Ram but worked hard to win at 6-7, 6-4 7-6. As for Konta, she is on line to become the first British women in 39 years to reach a Grand Slam final since Virginia Wade won the Wimbledon in 1977.
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