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Commonwealth Games: Indians have a field day on tennis court

first_imgIndia made a dominant start on tennis’s Commonwealth Games debut, winning three singles and one mixed doubles match at the R. K. Khanna Stadium on Monday.Top-seeded pair Leander Paes and Sania Mirza defeated Stacey Roheman and Alberton Richelieu of St Lucia 6-1, 6-0 in 39 minutes on centre court.Leander and Sania, who had won the gold together at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, proved too good for their inexperienced opponents, with the crowd getting into the game as well, cheering every point that the home team won. The chair umpire had to request for silence a number of times but the slogans just kept coming.So dominant was the pair that the only game the St Lucia players won was off Richelieu’s serve in first game of the match “Sania and I had a really easy (first-round) draw. But in tennis, to win a tournament, you have to beat everybody. You have to do everything right,” Paes said.Talking about his chemistry with Sania, Paes said: “It’s amazing stepping on to the court with her. She is looking to create something with that forehand and not just defending. And today it came instinctively.And that ‘Indianness’ comes through. We have done well at the Asian Games also. In Doha, I had dislocated my finger and she carried me through and hopefully this time also (we’ll do well).” For her part, a much fitter and slimmer looking Sania joked: “Everybody told me that after the wedding you will become fatter. But I have become thinner,” before adding: “I just hope we can keep building on this (performance).” Earlier, in a quiet morning session on the courts, Rohan Bopanna, Rushmi Chakravarthi and Poojashree Venkatesh all got off the blocks in a hurry, storming through to the second round.advertisementBopanna opened India’s account with an effortless 6-1, 6-4 win over Uganda’s Rober Buyinza in the first round of the men’s singles while Chakravarthi demolished Lesotho’s Pinki Agnes Montlha 6-0, 6-1 in the women’s singles.Bopanna had nine aces, including six in the second set, against Buyinza. But after an easy first set, both players held serve in the second until Bopanna broke his opponent in the eighth game.Poojashree also booked a second round berth with a 6-0, 6-0 annihilation of Lesotho’s Nthabiseng Eunicia Nqosa in just 40 minutes.Bopanna, though, suffered a reverse as well on the daywhen he and Nirupama Sanjeev lost their mixed doubles opener to the top seeded Australian duo of Paul Hanley and Anastasia Rodionova 3-6, 6-3, 3-6.The Indian pair did raise the hopes of a major upset by clinching the second set after losing the opener but could not keep the momentum going.An early break of Bopanna’s serve in the decider handed the Australians a 3-0 lead and the top-seeded pair ensured they did not become first day casualties.”We would have loved to win both matches,” Bopanna said.”We played well but we came up short. A couple of good shots and we could have closed the door.” Nirupama, whose serve appeared rather weak, said: “I did have a bit of a rhythm problem in the first set and final set. It was more nerves than anything else. I have not been in this situation for a long time.” In other men’s singles action on Monday, eighth-seeded Josh Milton of Wales defeated Francis Mwangi of Kenya 6-0, 6-2 while Sri Lanka’s Amresh Jayawickreme beat David Thomas of Bermuda 6-1, 6-2.last_img

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