Indians enjoy mixed fortune at US Open
Indian tennis stars have so far enjoyed mixed fortune at the ongoing US Open in New York.
While Sania Mirza and the Indo-Pak pair of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Qureshi cruised into the second round, it was disappointment for defending doubles champions Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy.
Somdev Devvarman, who was expected to do well at Flushing Meadows, also made an early exit.
Images: Mohammed Jaffer/SnapsIndia
Image: Sania Mirza (right) greets Michelle Larcher de Brito after winning her first round match on Monday
Sania faces stern test in 2nd round
Sania Mirza won her fourth match on the trot to cruise to the second round on Monday.
Having entered the women's singles as a qualifier, she scored an easy 6-3, 6-2 win over fellow qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal in the first-round match.
It took Sania an hour and 17 minutes to dispatch her opponent and set up a second round clash with Russian 20th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Sania was forced to go through the qualifiers of a Grand Slam event for the first time since 2005 due to her low ranking.
Poor form and a wrist injury dented her ranking heavily; she is languishing at 159.
Image: Sania Mirza plays a return while being watched by husband Shoaib Malik from the stands
'Winning four matches in a row gives me a lot of confidence'
"For me, the fact that I am still capable of going on court and winning four matches in a row gives me a lot of confidence that I still have the ability," India's No 1 female player said after her victory.
"I am just going to enjoy it. I was happy when I won the first round of the qualifiers and I am happy again today. I love playing here on the hardcourts in New York and always seem to do well here," she added.
Image: Sania Mirza is pleased as punch after her first round win while husband Shoaib Malik looks on
Indo-Pak express chugs along
India's Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan's Aisam Qureshi gave supporters of the two countries something to cheer about on Tuesday when they booked a berth in the second round of the men's doubles.
The 16th seeded duo defeated Americans Brian Battistone and Ryler DeHeart 6-3, 7-6 (7).
Bopanna and Qureshi will now play the winners of the match between the unseeded teams of Americans Sekou Bangoura and Nathan Pasha and Michael Kohlmann (Germany) and Jarkko Nieminen (Finland).
Image: India's Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan's Aisam Qureshi in action during their first round match on Tuesday
Defending champs Paes-Dlouhy fall in opening round
The US Open campaign of defending champions Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy ended as soon as it started, the pair going out in the first round of men's doubles on Tuesday.
Martin Damm (Czech Republic) and Filip Polasek ( Svlakia) rallied to beat the Indo-Czech pair 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4.
Paes is a two-time champion (2006 and 2009) and three-time runner-up at the Grand Slam event with different partners. Interestingly, the Indian veteran's 2006 title triumph at Flushing Meadows came with Damm.
Image: India's Leander Paes (right) and Czech Lukas Dlouhy during their opening round match on Tuesday
Somdev goes down fighting
It was also an early exit for Somdev Devvarman, who lost his opening round in the men's singles on Monday.
The US-based Indian Davis Cupper, who earned a direct entry into a Grand Slam for the first time, went down fighting against the South Africa's Kevin Anderson 3-6, 4-6, 3-6.
The defeat means Somdev has not gone beyond the first round in Grand Slams this season.
A second round appearance at the US Open last year remains his best performance in the Slams.
Image: Somdev Devvarman returns during his first round match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson