Of the five major Grand Slam Titles on offer at the US open in New York, only Mixed Doubles was decided on Friday and it was claimed by India’s Sania Mirza with her Brazilian team-mate Bruno Soares. Women’s doubles final will be played on Saturday, women’s singles and men’s doubles champions will be decided on Sunday and men’s singles on Monday. In two other major matches played on Friday, Serena Williams defeated No.17 seed Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-3 while China’s Peng Shuai was forced to retire against Denmark’s No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki after a hard-fought first set won in the tie-break by Wozniacki. On Saturday, Williams will try to win her 18th Grand Slam, when she plays Wozniacki.
It was a great day for Indian tennis fans in the Arthur Ashe stadium at New York as the top seeds Sania/Bruno went about taking on their unseeded opponents USA’s Abigail Spears and Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez. The Indo-Brazilian duo began in thundering style winning the first set 6-1 with consummate ease. But somehow, their game fell in the second set as Spears/Gonzalez retaliated and took the second set 6-2. With set scores level, the tie-break was enforced immediately. With some clever play, Sania/Bruno jumped to a 9-4 and held five championship points. But a late resolve from the American/Mexican combine brought the score to 9-9. Both sides fought to gain a foothold in the match but when Spears hit a Volley long, Sania/Bruno had their sixth championship point. This time however, the top seeds were determined and as Bruno applied pressure, Spears committed the same error yet again. With the volley going long once more, Sania and Bruno jumped with joy and embraced each other. Their 6-1, 2-6, 11-9 victory was achieved in exactly one hour. This was Sania Mirza’s third mixed doubles title in a Grand Slam tournament but first with Bruno. The Indian star’s earlier two Grand Slam victories had come when she partnered compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in winning the Australian Open in 2009 and French Open in 2012. Sania also reached the mixed doubles final of this year’s Australian open with her Romanian partner Horea Tecau but lost in the championship match to Kristina Madenovic of France and Daniel Nestor of Canada
In the first women’s singles semifinal on Friday, No.10 seed Caroline Wozniacki won against China’s Shuai Peng, who had to retire midway through the second set due to severe cramps. After Wozniacki served a double fault, Shuai fell on court in pain and she was taken out of the court. After a 10-minute delay, she came back. After some time, fell again in more acute pain. The Chinese was left with no option except surrendering the match as she had to be taken away in wheel chair. Before the misfortune struck Shuai, she played great tennis and matched Wozniacki in the first set. The two players traded points as the set went to tie-break, which Wozniacki won 7-6. When Shuai finally went off ground, the second set score was 4-3.
In the other semifinal, No. 1 Serena Williams brushed aside No.17 seed Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-3. The match was over before one could blink and that shows how powerfully Serena played. The top seed will now will play the final of the year’s only Grand Slam left, and she will strive to claim her 18th win in Grand Slams. Though Makarova lost the chance to win the singles crown, she is still in the fray for another title, when she plays with her compatriot Elena Vesnina in the women’s doubles match against the Swiss Martina Hingis and her Italian partner Flavia Pennetta on Saturday.
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