Eastbourne (England):The Indo-Swiss tennis combine of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis entered the women’s doubles semifinals of the $731,000 Eastbourne International here, the last warm-up event before Wimbledon.
It wasn’t an easy outing for the top seeds as Sania and Martina had to fight it out against Chinese Taipei-Italian pair of Hao-Ching Chan and Flavia Pennetta in an hour and 14 minutes to win 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 on the grass courts of the Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday.
The Indo-Swiss pair will next take on French-Slovenian fourth seeds Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik for a place in the summit clash.
Sania and Martina did not start well as they served up two double faults with their first serve averaging only 53 percent in the first set. The world’s top-2 ranked players broke their opponents twice but Chan and Pennetta went one better to pocket the set.
The top seeds turned the tables in the second set as they were broken twice. But they rebounded by breaking Chan and Pennetta one more time to level the match, pushing it into the decider.
The Indo-Swiss combine totally had the upper hand in the super tie-break to win 10-6 and with ease and enter the penultimate stage of the tournament.
Overall, the winners threw down three aces but four double faults in the match is a cause of concern, with their first service percentage also dipping. Though teams won five breakpoints in the match, Sania and Martina came good just when it mattered at the end of the contest.