Eyeing their first title of the season, the third-seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova has stormed into the last four of the Dubai Duty-Free tennis championships.
The Indo-Czech pair defeated America’s Abigail Spears and Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik in straight sets by 6-2, 7-5 in the 78-minute encounter. With this win, Mirza and Strycova have avenged their loss which came in Qatar Open last week in the semi-finals at the hands of Spears and Srebotnik.
Both Sania and Strycova had made it to the finals in the Sydney Open earlier this year but couldn’t manage to replicate their good form in the year’s first Grand Slam – the Australian Open. They lost in the Round of 16 from the Japanese pair of M. Kato and E. Hozumi in a closely contested match.
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In the quarterfinal, the third seed Indo-Czech duo got an early break to go 2-0 up in the first set. But the American-Slovenian pair responded well under pressure to get it to 2-2. After this, both Sania and Strycova come up with a dominant performance and closed out the set by winning four straight games to make it 6-2.
The second set was more evenly contested with both teams playing some fantastic tennis to push the match further. Despite 3-1 lead for Sania and Barbora, Srebotnik and Spears leveled the set 4-all. But, the third-seeded pair broke back in the 11th game before closing the match on their own serve in the 12th.
The Indo-Czech pair of Mirza and Strycova will now take on the second seeded Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina for a place in the finals.