After their famous victory over Bob and Mike Bryan in the quarterfinals, India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea lost the men’s doubles semifinal against Holland’s Jean-Julien Rojer and Romania’s Horia Tecau. The same fate beckoned Sania Mirza, who also lost in the mixed doubles quarterfinals with her partner Bruno Soares of Brazil. The second-seeded Indo-Brazilian duo went down fighting to fifth seeded Austrian-Hungarian combo of Alexander Peya and Timea Babos in three sets. However, Leander Paes made it to the semifinal in another mixed doubles match with his Swiss partner Martina Hingis. While Sania Mirza lost in the mixed doubles competition, she is still in the fray at Wimbledon in women’s doubles with Martina Hingis. The top seeded Indo-Swiss pair will attempt an entry into the final on Friday, when they take on USA’s fifth seeded Raquel Kops-Jones/Abigail Spears. On the same day, Hingis will also team up with Leander Paes for a place in the mixed doubles final against top seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mike Bryan of USA.

Indians in Doubles Martina Hingis & Leander Paes

Hingis & Leander Paes

Rohan Bopanna quest for a place in Wimbledon men’s doubles final came to a sad end. He and his Romanian mate Florin Mergea fought tooth-and-nail against the no.4 seeded Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania. In a five-set contest, Julien-Rojer and Tecau won 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 13-11. The match began with Bopanna’ service game and though he was broken, Mergea’s fine play in the next game enabled the Indo-Romanian pair to break back. Bopanna/Mergea broke once more to take the first set 6-4. However, Julien-Rojer/Tecau took command in the second and third sets to take a 2-1 lead. In the fourth set, Bopanna/Mergea trailed 1-2 at the start but they came back strongly to break their opponents twice and won 6-4. The final set was fought on nerves and patience as both pairs kept holding their serves until the 23rd game. Then in the 24th game, Julien-Rojer/Tecau broke Bopanna/Mergea and emerged victors after nearly 3½ hours.

Sania Mirza and Bruno Soares also fought hard for a place in the semifinal against Austria’s Alexander Peya and Hungary’s Timea Babos despite having two match points at one time. The three-set contest lasted 2 hours 21 minutes and ended in favor of Peya/Babos, who finished with a 3-6, 7-6, 9-7 victory. In the first set, Sania/Soares played dominantly winning 74% of their first service points, broke their opponents once and pocketed the set 6-3. In the second, the pairs were equally matched as Peya/Babos raised their game and fought superbly. The set went to the tiebreak and Peya/Babos forced a decider. Both pairs played an even game in the third set and it boiled down to who could hold the nerves better. The Ausrian/Hungarian combo won the set 9-7 and with that, also the match to an utter disappointment of Sania/Soares.

There was, however, some cheer for Indian fans with Leander Paes and Martina Hingis reaching the mixed doubles semifinals by defeating Poland’s Marcin Matkowski and Russia’s Elena Vesnina. The Indo-Swiss pair faced no difficulty against their opponents in their 6-2, 6-1 victory in a dominant display throughout the match. Paes/Hingis committed just two unforced errors as compared to six by Matkowski/Vesnina. In both sets, Paes/Hingis broke their opponents’ serves on two occasions and romped home to an easy win. For a berth in the final, Paes/Hingis will meet USA’s top-seeded pair of Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Mike Bryan.