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FOR THE FIRST TIME

09:03 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

Sania Mirza storms into womenalt146s doubles final

Paris Sania Mirza stormed into her maiden Grand Slam womenalt146s doubles final as she and her Russian partner Elena Vesni

na defeated American duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in a thrilling three- setter in the semi- finals of the French Open here on Thursday.Seeded seventh in the tournament, Sania and Vesnina upset their fourth seeded opponents 6- 3, 2- 6, 6- 4 in 105 minutes at the Roland Garros.

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In Fridayalt146s summit clash, the Indo- Russian combo will face the unseeded Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, who stunned third seeded pair of Vania King of United States and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6- 3, 6- 3 in another last four match.

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This is Saniaalt146s third Grand Slam final appearance in her career — the first two being in the mixed doubles in the Australian Open.

Sania and ace compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi had won the Australian Open mixed doubles title in 2009 while they were the losing finalists in the same Grand Slam tournament in 2008.

Sania, who paired up with Vesnina only in February, had a strap just below her left knee but did not show any apparent problem as she played some superb winning shots across the net.

Sania and Vesnina broke their opponents early in the first set to race to a 4- 1 ahead before pocketing it 6- 3 in 30 minutes.

The second set was a longer affair with both the sides trading breaks before the American pair stepped up their game and broke Sania and Vesnina for a third time to clinch the set in 38 minutes and level the tie.

In the deciding set, Sania and Vesnina broke their opponents in the first game itself and then held their serve to take a 2- 0 lead.

Huber and Raymond held onto their next serve but Sania- Vesnina pair maintained their two- point lead at 3- 1 by winning the fourth game. However, Huber and Raymond broke the Indo- Russian combination in the sixth game to level scores at 3- 3. But Sania and Vesnina responded in a superb fashion by breaking their opponents in the seventh game to surge ahead 4- 3 before holding serve to make it 5- 3. Huber and Raymond held their serve in the ninth game to make it 4- 5 but Sania and Vesnina held onto their nerves to ensure that they did not blow away their chance of making it to their maiden doubles final.

The Indo- Russian duo took 37 minutes to seal the third set 6- 4 in their favour. Since pairing up in February, Sania and Vesnina had won two titles — at Indian Wells in March and in Charleston in April.

Sania is the lone Indian left in the fray after Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam- ul- Haq Qureshi lost in the menalt146s doubles quarter- finals to top seeded American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan on Wednesday.

Chinaalt39s Li Na one win from history at French Open

Paris Chinaalt39s Li Na shattered Maria Sharapovaalt39s dream of completing a set of Grand Slam titles by defeating the double- fault prone Russian 6- 4, 7- 5 in the French Open semi- finals on Thursday.

In so doing, Li made it back- to back Grand Slam finals for her and she gets another crack at becoming the first player from China to win a major title after losing to Kim Clijsters at the Australian Open at the start of the year.

For Sharapova it was a bitter pill to swallow as she had hoped to become just the 10th woman in the history of the sport to win all four Grand Slam titles, having won one apiece at Wimbledon and the Australian and US Opens.

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(To view our epaper please Read Now. For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

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